Manesar to be India’s first eco-city soon
 The Pioneer |

Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC) Managing Director Rajeev Arora said on Wednesday that Manesar in district Gurgaon would be country’s first eco-city pilot initiative soon as a team of Japan based Toshiba undertaking had submitted its pre feasibility report to the department.

Delhi Metro bags award
New Delhi
 The Hindu |

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation was awarded the “Best Urban Infrastructure Project” at the Third Infrastructure Excellence Awards organised by CNBC TV 18 and Essar Steel here on Tuesday. DMRC managing director E. Sreedharan was also conferred “Infrastructure Leader of the Year” award at the ceremony.


India to outpace China as fastest growing nation by 2015: ICICI
Economic Times

NEW DELHI: Driven by productivity enhancement and infrastructure development, India is expected to outpace Asian dragon China and become the fastest growing economy in the next four years, ICICI Bank said in a report.

“India is expected to grow at an average of 9.4 per cent in this decade and will outpace China by 2015, becoming the fastest growing economy,” ICICI Bank said in a report titled The India Book: Growth Opportunities and Challenges.

The pecking order of global cities
Jharna Mazumdar
 Financial Chronicle |

With the revival of the economy and India’s GDP growing at an impressive clip of over eight percent leading to more business opportunities opening up, it is expected that non-resident Indians and even rich foreigners may look at buying second homes in the country’s financial hub Mumbai which is becoming one of the preferred global destinations for premium residential properties. The just-published 2011 edition of The Wealth Report by Knight Frank and Citi Private Bank has said Mumbai’s importance has increased by 118 percent, Shanghai’s by 91 percent and Sao Paolo’s by 66 percent.

“We are witnessing an increase in inquiries from NRIs mainly for buying properties. NRIs are taking a lot more interest in both buying and investing in the country’s real estate. Mumbai is preferred over other cities as it is the financial hub of the country,” said Niranjan Hiranandani, managing director of Hiranadani Construction.

TCS Q4 result: Net up 31.1% at Rs 2,623 crore
Times of India

MUMBAI: Country’s largest software company Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) on Thursday said its net profit for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2011 rose by 31.1 per cent to Rs 2,623 crore.

It posted an increase of 31.3 per cent in quarterly revenues at Rs 10,157 crore, TCS said in a statement.

“Excellent execution and a constant focus on the customer has helped TCS round off a sterling performance in FY11, with strong growth in the fourth quarter, while maintaining margins at historic highs,” TCS CEO and MD N Chandrasekaran said in the statement.

TCS to hike wages by 12-14%; to hire 60,000 in FY’12
Economic Times

MUMBAI: The country’s largest software services firm Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) today said it will give pay hikes to the tune of 12-14 per cent to its employees in the country even as the industry grapples with high attrition rates.

“About 12-14 per cent is the increment that we have decided for offshore, that is India. And as far as locations overseas are concerned, in the major markets, we are going to give 2-4 per cent,” TCS Global Human Resources Head Ajoy Mukherjee told reporters here.

Liberalize FDI, improve regulations for 9% growth: Planning Commission
Live Mint

New Delhi: Concerned over weaknesses in manufacturing sector, the Planning Commission on Thursday pitched for further liberalization of FDI policy and improvement of business regulations to step up GDP growth rate to 9-9.5% in the 12th Plan from 8.2% in the current plan.

“Tune-up FDI and trade policies to attract quality investment in critical areas”, the Commission said in a presentation before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the meeting of the full Plan panel here.

Regretting that manufacturing performance has remained “weak”, the Commission said that India need to target a growth of 11-12% in this sector in the 12th Plan (2012-17).

Delhi, Mumbai in top global cities index
New Delhi
 The Hindu Business Line | The Economic Times | The Pioneer |  Mail Today |

Two Indian cities have made it to the list of top global cities index by the Annual Citi/Knight Frank Wealth Report and the next decade is likely to witness significant improvements from emerging market cities, particularly in the Asian behemoths. New York has topped the overall cities index ranking, followed by London and Paris. New Delhi and Mumbai were ranked 37 and 38 in the coveted list.

The other cities in the top 10 slots include Paris in the third position, followed by Tokyo and Brussels in fourth and fifth ranks, respectively, while Los Angeles was slotted at sixth rank, Singapore (7th), Beijing (8th), Toronto (9th) and Berlin (10th).

Home Loans

SBI winds up teaser home loan schemes
Prasanna Deshpande, Mumbai
 Financial Chronicle  | The Economic Times | Deccan Herald |

Under increasing pres­sure from the Reserve Ba­nk of India, India’s largest commercial bank, State Bank of India, has decided to withdraw its popular teaser home loan sche­mes, SBI Easy Home Loan and SBI Advantage Home Loan, from May 1. Chairman Pratip Chaudhuri said the bank would, instead, offer floating rate home loans linked to its base rate.

“The RBI governor and deputy governor in a meeting with us told us what they expected of us. In response to our request for special dispensation in terms of the 2 percent provisioning required for loans with a step up interest rate, RBI said that first the existing schemes must stop. Now that we have complied with this precondition we hope that there will be a pragmatic provisioning requirement,” said Chaudhuri.

Real estate sector

Luxury villas rise as the rich come home to ECR
Jayaraj Sivan
 The Times of India (Chennai edition) |

The super rich have always headed down the East Coast Road (ECR) for entertainment but now the scenic route is fast turning into a residential hub for them. A number of independent villas, priced at more than 3 crore and promoted by builders, are mushrooming on the stretch between Palavakkam and Mammallapuram.

With rates of more than 10,000 per sq ft, the prices compare to those of posh apartments in upmarket residential areas like Kilpauk, Anna Nagar and Adyar in Chennai. Many leading builders and dozens of smaller players have made a beeline for the ECR.

Huda cuts development charges for Gurgaon
 The Financial Express |

Chandigarh: Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) has reduced external development charges (EDC) for Gurgaon.

While stating this here on Wednesday, an official spokesman said that the authority would charge R58.76 lakh per gross acre as EDC for plotted development, R176.28 lakh per gross acre for normal group housing societies having density of population of 300 per acre and group housing scheme for low cost affordable housing with density of 600 and R274.41 lakh per gross acre for commercial area including neighbourhood shopping area with FAR 1.75.

RBI proposes ban on use of CCDs in realty sector
Rajat Guha, New Delhi
 The Financial Express |

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has proposed banning the use of compulsory convertible debentures (CCDs) in the real estate sector. The central bank feels that these instruments are more in the nature of debt rather than equity until converted into equity (when the put option is invoked), and thereby they circumvent external commercial borrowing (ECB) guidelines applicable for the real estate sector.

The current norms do not allow ECBs in the sector except for projects with a minimum size of 100 acre.

Mohali to have convention centre-cum-hotel
 The Tribune |

Mohali will soon have an international convention centre-cum-five start hotel here. The financial bid of the project was formally opened by sub-sectoral committee for the project. Out of the total three bids received, the highest bid of Rs 16.20 crore was received from Apollo Enterprises, a London-based company, which has stakes in the toll plaza constructed on the Jaipur-Gurgoan Highway.

Brand Capital hires Knight Frank to manage real estate portfolio
Live Mint

Brand Capital, earlier known as Times Private Treaties, the ad-for-equity business of publishing group Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd (BCCL), has hired real estate consultant Knight Frank India Pvt. Ltd to manage its real estate portfolio. Brand Capital has a real estate portfolio of Rs.500 crore.

“This is the first initiative of its kind where we have taken up such asset management and advisory for a large corporate house,” said Amit Goenka, national director, capital transactions, Knight Frank.

The end-to-end management and advisory solution that will be provided by Knight Frank includes optimizing value with timely exits, maintenance, reporting and analytics, valuation, assistance with leasing, compliance and collections.

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