Cement Shares Drop Precipitously

The shares in cement firms dropped precipitously on Wednesday, after the government’s trashing some duties to help imports and rein in domestic prices.

Sony Drops PSP Prices

Sony Computer Sony Computer EntertainmentEntertainment America (SCEA) has marked the recent second anniversary of PSP by airing PSP hardware price cut. The PSP Core Pack will now be available in North America for $169.99 ($30 short of the previous price).

SCEA’s also broadcasted, the availability of Daxter and Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror at $19.99, as new additions to the "Greatest Hits" program. These new additions will enable PSP users to build up their software library with two popular titles at great value.

HDFC Hikes Lending Rates

HDFC BankIndia’s largest house finance banking company HDFC has announced raised lending rates by 75 basis points for new loan seekers, and on the other hand, the interest rate is up 50 bps for the existing customers.

The 50 bps hike will translate into a Rs 32 hike each month on a loan of Rs 1 lakh borrowed for 20 years. Yet HDFC’s after hike rates are cheaper than its nearest rival ICICI Bank which annunciated a rate hike last Week. Last week, ICICI Bank increased its benchmark advance rate to 15.75%, while Yes Bank hiked its PLR to 14.75%. However, the state-owned banks are yet to consider their lending rates.

Organization’s Health-Unawareness Among CEOs

According to survey, “In the Dark: What many boards and executives still don’t know about the health of their businesses”, lack of high-quality non-financial information has caused many board members and senior executives to be unaware of the overall health of their organization.

The second edition of survey, released on Tuesday, is developed by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu in conjunction with the Economist Intelligence Unit. The 78% of the CEOs surveyed say that just financial indicators do not adequately capture their company’s strengths and weaknesses.

SBI Jacks Up Personal & Car Loans

State bank of IndiaThe State bank of India announced on Wednesday that there’s going to be a small rise in rates for car loans and personal loans.

The MD of SBI said: “we have announced like in benchmark prime lending rates by 75basis points…Consequently, we will be raising rates by 75 basis points on an average.” Mr. Aggarwal added, “This interest rate cycle has peaked in economy and the rates are likely to stabilize at this level.”

SBI is going to raise interest rates in some schemes. SBI had also announced 0.75 % in its benchmark prime lending rate to 12.25% last month.

Free Music Downloads From EMI, Apple

MusicEMI Group and Apple Inc. takes a significant step by releasing higher-fidelity tunes specifically designed to play on any music player or computer. EMI Group & Apple is making its entire digital collection available without the anti-privacy software. Steve Jobs, CEO Apple Inc, and EMI Group Executives, on Monday, announced that EMI music will become available on Apple’s iTunes store without digital rights management (DRM) from May, 2007. This deal will also pressurize the other record labels to open up and offer DRM-free music.

Central Group To Route Non-Life Claim Shortly

The non-life insurance industry has decided to contract out resolution of accidental reimbursement claims to a central body to lessen losses bobbing out of large awards.
The central agency, which is the General Insurance Corporation’s subdivision, services all reports for payment owing to accidents caused by commercial vehicles. The regulator has been directed the industry to pool all gains or losses getting up motor third-party liability insurance.
Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority stated that the motor insurance pool will get into effect from April 1 and will be applicable to all commercial vehicles that would include all vehicles makes and classes.

ICICI Prudential changed its name

Prudential ICICIPrudential ICICI Mutual Fund has been assigned a new name ‘ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund’ w.e.f Monday.

The change in name contemplates the alteration in the shareholding model of ICICI Bank and Prudential Plc in the asset management company (AMC) and the trust company.

The AMC and trust company have also been allotted new names as ‘ICICI Prudential Asset Management Company Ltd’ and ‘ICICI Prudential Trust Ltd.’

Web Access For Visually Disabled

IBMAll is set for the Technology and Software giant, IBM to launch a multimedia web browser for visually impaired. Using this web browser, they can access web video and audio. This software for visually impaired, codenamed the Accessibility Browser or A-Browser is created by Dr. Chieko Asakawa, who has been blind since age 14 and is a senior researcher at IBM’s research laboratory in Tokyo. Blind and partially-sighted people will get the unbelievable control over multimedia application using a keyboard to control media player software.

Retail Market - Potentials & Opportunities

ICICI Property prepared a report, India Retail Real Estate The Road Ahead, that says the total real estate requirement of the future organized retail chains will be far more than the construction industry can supply.

According to this report, “The demand for quality real estate is to grow exponentially over the next 4-5 years fuelled by the demand from the organized retailers. The organized retail will require around 500 sq ft realty space in the next five years, out of which 250 million sq ft will be required by shopping malls itself.”

But as per real estate developer’s current plans, only 143 million sq ft of mall space is being planned over the next five years. Hence, the retail industry will be left with a shortage of more than 40%.

Advertisement Guidelines For Builders

Arecent Public Interest Litigation, filed by an NGO called
‘Sanrakshak’, in the Supreme Court has requested the court to direct
both central and the state governments to issue nationwide guidelines
for the print and electronic media for checking the authenticity of
advertisements required to be inserted by builders.

NGO has requested to form a statutory to confirm the background of
each builder desiring to advertise their projects. The petitioner said,
“There should basically be a checklist for media to satisfy themselves
about the genuineness of the builder and promises being made to
prospective buyers.”

The Supreme Court has issued notices to both the Central and state governments on this issue.

Choosing Rates–Fixed or Floating?

Interchanging fixed rate loans to floating rates or vice versa is done to claim benefits of the change in interest rates or to protect from the interest rate changes.

Usually, housing loan rates have been rising in the recent past. Increase in the repo rates, reverse repo rates, and CRR, has resulted in increased interest rates on housing loans i.e. increased floating rates. The fixed rate is considered safer for borrowers as the interest rate remains fixed for the entire tenure of the loan.

Long-Term Capital Gains After October 1

The Finance Bill, 2007, says that by opting right time to make long-term capital gains, it is possible to make differences in terms of taxation under the Income-tax Act, 1961. Investors having long-term capital gains can receive gains after October 1 in a financial year.
Suppose, you sell a your residential house for Rs 2 crore and the indexation cost is Rs 40 lakh, say, so you can make a long-term capital gain of Rs 1.60 crore. Now, if you do not want to buy another residential house and want to save income tax as well, then you have the option to invest your capital gain in the capital gains bonds for a minimum period of three years as provided for in section 54EC of the Act.

Sophisticated Standard Of Living

The presence of number of projects offering comfortable living to residents has made Noida and Greater Noida as the chosen destination for superior lifestyle in the National Capital Region. Grand Venezia International Mall by the Bhasin Group, Czar Suites by Supertech and internationally designed township developed by Omaxe are few of the numerous projects lined up for Greater Noida offering easy connectivity to the capital via the expressway.

Symantec rates Microsoft Vista as Highly Secure OS

According to the SymantecSymantec’s 11th Internet Security Threat Report, Microsoft Vista has been ranked as the most secure operating system than its competitors. During its initial three months, Windows Vista offered huge security success as compared to other OS like Windows XP, Mac OS X and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 Workstation etc, and hence, helping the different organizations to achieve their business and computing goals with confidence. The second best performer, during the initial 90 days, was Red Hat Linux which took an average of 58 days to address a total of 208 vulnerabilities.

LG Phones To offer Google Services

LG ElectronicsNow users will enjoy Google services on LG mobile phones. Both the companies have declared a universal association to pre-install Google’s services on LG handsets.

The affiliation will permit LG’s phone users to search for information, discover locations, update web logs and manage email while on the move.

Bank of China Opens Private Banking Service For Millionaires Only

Bank of ChinaBank of China (BOC) instigated a private banking service targeting millionaires only in Beijing and Shanghai.

The clients owing financial assets valuated over US $1 million are qualified for the service offered along with the Royal Bank of Scotland that possesses a 4.4 percent stake in the bank.

“It is a bank for the top rich,” Yue Yi, GM of the bank’s retail business stated.

Sony Ericsson Launches Z750 & W580

Sony Ericsson Sony EricssonMobile Communications, known for its pioneering and feature-rich mobile phones, accessories, & PC cards, introduces two new mobile phones at the CTIA trade i.e. clamshell-style Z750 and sliding-style W580. Z750 is Sony Ericsson’s first Tri-band HSPDA and Quad-band Edge enabled phone, whereas W580 is a Walkman mobile phone. With mirror like finish, Z750 is available in pink and gray colors, and can access high-speed networks anywhere, whereas, the slider W580 comes in orange-and-white color, and supports corporate push email from MS Exchange servers.

Fujitsu Launches Solid State Drives

After the recent Fujitsurelease announcement of cheap SSDs made by Intel, Fujitsu also announced its entry in the field of solid state drives. At present, there are two major established companies in the SSD market i.e. SanDisk and Samsung. Fujitsu Computer Systems introduced this offer for the first time as an option in its ultra-portable computers. With this offer, the machines are expected to become more durable for work in the field.

Bajaj, Allianz Signs Up 50-50 Partnership For MFs, Loans

Bajaj AllianzBajaj Auto and Allianz annunciated the partnership plan for distributing credit cards, mutual funds, home loans and personal loans.

Unlike the former joint ventures for their insurance business, the novel partnership plan is a 50-50 partnership between the two companies.

The company-Bajaj Allianz Financial Distributors will have a paid up capital of Rs 2.4 crore. It will allocate financial products of different asset management companies, banking and non-banking (financial) institutions.

The recently made venture is yet in discussions with parties and did not reveal the products it will be dealing out.

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