Ireo-Banyan Tree tie up for Ludhiana project

Ireo, which is India’s largest private equity fund dedicated to the Indian real estate sector, recently announced its inaugural partnership with internationally acclaimed Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts to open a world-class Angsana Club and spa at its premium 500-acre township in Ludhiana – Ireo Waterfront.

Angsana is a signature brand of the Banyan Tree Group. The club is being designed by Singapore-based architectural firm, WoW Architects. The Banyan Tree Group is a leading international developer and operator in the hospitality and spa industry, and is currently managing/sharing ownership interest in 30 resorts and hotels, over 60 spas and more than 70 retail galleries, as well as two golf courses worldwide. The Angsana Club and spa in Ludhiana, the first of its kind in India, will be built over an area of over 6 acres and will offer a variety of experiences in its 5-star boutique-style premises. The estimated development cost for the project will be upward of Rs 50 crore and the spa and club is likely to commence operations in 2015. Speaking on the occasion Madhukar Tulsi, President, Ireo, said, “The Club will set a benchmark in India and will help our customers enjoy the same international levels of hospitality as their peers do all over the globe.”

Read more: The Tribune

ireo waterfront

Ireo Waterfront, Ludhiana, Punjab

 

Time is right for realty investment

In the real estate arena, it is often said that any time is a good time to invest. The soaring land, material, and construction costs, and labor shortage, lead to a higher output cost year after year. That is not all. The State government hikes the guideline values to generate more revenue for the exchequer. The last Union Budget hiked the service tax from 10 to 12.36 percent, leading to an overall increase in input costs. It is prudent for any real estate investor to invest early in housing, in order to take advantage of the bargain deals as well as to beat price increases.

Read more:  The Times of India

All power of attorney property deals banned

In an order that puts thousands of property transactions in Delhi under a cloud, the revenue department has made all realty sales through transfer of general power of attorney null and void with retrospective effect from October last year. The order, dated April 27, directs all 13 sub-registrar offices, DDA and NDMC to follow the Supreme Court’s order last October that no sale deed will be registered if it is through a GPA transfer. This means transactions carried out since October on GPA transfers will have to be registered afresh with complete documents. On average, around 20 percent of registries are done through GPA transfers, a common way of selling leasehold properties and those that don’t have a clear title. In Delhi’s northwest district, for instance, of 5,300 documents registered across three sub-registrar offices in March, 1,157 were GPA transfer registries. Bankers said the proportion of GPA transfers were even higher in sales involving bank loans. Top revenue department officials steered clear of taking responsibility for the delay in implementing the Supreme Court order. They said that as this was a Supreme Court order, it should have been implemented at the sub-registrar offices since October. They admitted, however, that registrars have only stopped registering such sale deeds after the April 27 directive from the revenue secretary and divisional commissioner Vijay Dev.

Read more:  The Times of India  | The Economic Times

World Bank funds for national highway diverted to realty projects?

The government on Thursday said it was not against an investigation by the CBI into allegations of fraud by Progressive Construction Ltd (PCL) in a World Bank-funded national highway project. Highways minister C P Joshi told Rajya Sabha that this could be done only when the multilateral agency establishes wrongdoing. “Once the World Bank is satisfied it is fraudulent, we will get it investigated by any agency,” Joshi said in response to a question. Records accessed by TOI show that World Bank’s Institutional Integrity Unit has asked the government to seek help or evidence from the agency to prove the alleged “fraudulent and corrupt” practices by the private contractor. The report alleged that PCL and a joint venture of PCL-MVR, which were engaged in four stretches on the Lucknow-Muzaffarpur national highway funded by the Bank, had submitted “false details” and “fake invoices” showing utilization of funds that they had initially received as advance. The World Bank loan for the project is $620 million (over Rs 3,000 crore at current exchange rate).

Read more:  The Times of India 

Real estate Bill delayed again

The much-awaited regulatory Bill for the real estate sector is still a long way off. The draft Real Estate Regulation Bill will not be tabled during the current session of Parliament, a senior official in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation has confirmed.

The Bill has been in the making for several years now, and was slated to be introduced during the Budget session. The housing ministry is now targeting the monsoon session of Parliament. The official said the final draft was ready. The draft bill has gone through some changes related to clauses on imprisonment and compulsory registration.

Read more: Business Standard

No sale deed needed in property transacted under GPA: Government

In a bid to ensure strict adherence to the Supreme Court order on property transactions, Delhi government today said no sale deeds will be registered if it is done through General Power of Attorney (GPA).

The government, however said, the property transactions involving GPA that have taken place after the Supreme Court order on October 12, 2011, would not be null and void and property holders can “regularize” them by paying the difference in the stamp duty.

Read more: The Economic Times

Pros and cons of setting up trusts & LLCs to protect your property

If you own real estate of any kind, you’ve got an asset that needs to be protected, and not just against wind and rain.

While most homeowners buy insurance as a matter of course, they are less likely to set up trusts and limited liability companies (LLC), the kinds of structures that can protect you from legal hazards like lawsuits and probate of your estate after you die.

Read more: The Economic Times

Economy

wf_sidebarRBI raises interest rates on NRI deposits in foreign currencies by up to 3%

To attract inflows in view of falling rupee, the Reserve Bank today raised the interest rate ceiling on NRI deposits in foreign currencies by up to 3 per cent.

Following RBI’s announcements, the Indian banks will be able to offer higher interest rates on NRI deposits in foreign currency.

In another notification, RBI deregulated interest rates on export finance, a development that would help exporters to freely raise money in foreign currency without any limit on interest ceilings.

Read more: The Economic Times

Mukherjee: Expect Growth to Return to 8%-10%

India’s Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said Friday he is confident the nation’s economy will return to a “sustained growth path” of around 8% to 10% annually in the coming years.

Read more: The Wall Street Journal

India remains leader in BPO segment: Government

Despite the rise of Philippines in the outsourcing sector, India remains the leader with an estimated revenue of USD 15.9 billion from the segment in 2011-12, Minister of State for Communications and IT Sachin Pilot said in Parliament today.

“As per Nasscom, in the BPO segment, revenue of Philippines is increasing but India continues to be the leader with revenue of USD 15.9 billion (estimated) in 2011-12 as compared to USD 14.2 billion in 2010-11,” Pilot said in a written reply to Rajya Sabha.

Read more: The Economic Times

Mobile email bigger in India than US

Smartphone users in urban India have outnumbered their American counterparts in accessing emails and social networking sites using mobile phones, a new study revealed.

According to a survey of 5,000 Indians in metros, conducted by Google along with market research agency Ipsos and the Mobile Marketing Association, 56% smartphone users access the internet multiple times a day as compared to 53% in US. India has less than 50% of US’s 245 million smartphone users.

Read more: Hindustan Times

Double-digit salary hikes likely this year: survey

Notwithstanding sluggish economic conditions, India Inc is expected to dole out double-digit salary hikes this year and overall rise in pay packets could go up to 20%, says a survey. Staffing firm TeamLease Services today said in a report that Indian companies are now recognizing the need to strike a balance between the need for talent and salary package.

TeamLease said double-digit salary hikes are likely this year and the average salary growth in India could hit near 20% levels in 2012. “With businesses striking a right balance between talent and pay, India Inc seems to be finding fixes for many of the issues plaguing the employment market like talent acquisition and retention,” TeamLease Services Senior Vice President Sangeeta Lala said.

Read more: Business Standard

Desi companies dominate US generic space

India is playing a dominant role in the US generic pharma space, having cornered over half the certified dossiers filed globally for active pharmaceutical ingredients (API). Drug companies from India filed 51% of the overall global applications, also called drug master filings (DMF), in the US market during calendar year 2011. DMFs are essentially approvals to supply complex raw materials to all generic manufacturers servicing the US market, which is the most lucrative of all global markets.

Over the last three years, there has been a sustained increase in the trend of such applications from India. Of the global DMF filings in the US, India accounted for 45% in 2009, which increased to 49% in 2010 and 51% in 2011 (see chart).

Read more: The Times of India

Modern retail has 1/3 of big city business

The swift spread of modern retail stores is changing shopping habits in major Indian cities.

Sales of home, personal care and food products in these stores is now nearly one-third of the sales of such products in traditional stores in 17 major Indian cities, according to a study by research firm Nielsen that was released on Thursday. The rapidly narrowing gap between the two formats comes at a time when modern retailers have once again begun opening new outlets, after a spate of closures during the downturn in 2009-10.

Read more: Live Mint

Mauritius ‘unwillingness’ delays tax treaty revision: Government

The government today said Mauritius was “unwilling” to bring in safeguards to prevent the misuse of taxation treaty between the two nations.

A joint working group comprising members of the two governments was constituted in 2006 to put in place adequate safeguards to prevent misuse of the India-Mauritius Double Taxation Avoidance Convention.

Read more: The Economic Times

Market News

Nifty breaches 200-DMA, may find support at 5000-4650 levels: analysts

The 50-share Nifty closed below its critical levels of 5,000 on persistent selling across the board. The Sensex breached its psychological level of 17,000.

A policy decision on GAAR, the high crude oil prices and the depreciating rupee are weighing on the markets, according to analysts.

“The Nifty broke its 200-DMA at 5,117 levels in its third attempt. But if we look back, the first two attempts on an average resulted in a pull-back of 3-4 percent and these pull-backs resulted in formations of lower highs on the index, a pattern which is a bearish setup in technical terms,” Jitender Kumar, Quant Analyst, SBICAP Securities, said.

Read more: The Economic Times

Rupee ends at 53.47 against dollar; outlook remains weak

The Indian rupee staged a late recovery on Friday that sparked debate about central bank intervention, but is still within reach of a lifetime low after posting a fifth successive week of falls on rising fears of foreign outflows.

The rupee, already reeling under the impact of a widening capital account deficit, a slowing economy, and fears about policy reforms, is also being undone by uncertainty about taxation of foreign investors.

Read more: The Economic Times

Sensex & Nifty plunge on GAAR, tax & rupee concerns

The Nifty underperformed global peers and closed below the important support levels as GAAR and tax concerns, a weak rupee, the government’s inaction toward reforms and the uncertainty in global markets hurt sentiment. All major sectoral indices, barring the pharmaceutical sector, ended in the red with capital goods, banks, metals and realty stocks leading the decline.

The indices opened in the red, taking cues from weak Asian peers and a depreciating rupee. The rupee has been on the decline for the past few sessions in the absence of foreign inflows and demand from oil importers in the wake of consistently high international crude oil prices.

Read more: The Economic Times

Underweight on Indian equities, Re remains biggest concern: Yonghao Pu, UBS

In an interview with ET Now, Yonghao Pu, CIO, UBS, shares his views on global markets and Indian economy. Excerpts:

The fall in the rupee has effectively wiped out any gains that foreign investors may have made on equities in calendar 2012. How are you viewing the Indian rupee if all indications are that it will indeed drop to 55-56 against the dollar in the near term? Would that factor alone be enough to keep foreign investors on the sidelines?
Yonghao Pu : We would not project that level, but we are cautious. In general, we are positive on Asian currencies like the Malaysian ringgit, the Korean won and the Chinese renminbi to a certain extent, but we are very cautious about the Indian rupee because exactly what I mentioned earlier the persistent trade deficit plus the huge fiscal deficit, that is why we think that the rupee has risk to devalue further.

Read more: The Economic Times

International Business News

US unemployment dips to 8.1% on modest jobs growth

The US unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent in April as the economy created a modest 115,000 jobs, official figures showed Friday, the eve of President Barack Obama’s maiden reelection rally.

Despite the meager job creation, the Labor Department data showed unemployment at the lowest level in over three years.

Read more: The Economic Times

Vinod Khosla, 8 other Indian Americans in Forbes’ best tech investors list

Nine Indian origin entrepreneurs feature in this year’s Forbes Midas List of technology’s best investors for fuelling a bull market for hot young companies.

Heading the Indian-American list is Greylock Partners’ Aneel Bhusri at number 25 (15 in 2011). Bhusri is co-CEO of Workday, the cloud-based financials and human resources software company.

Read more: The Economic Times

Infrastructure

Gurgaon to Noida in 50 minutes flat

Gurgaon and Noida are going to be closer than ever before in the next four years and Delhi Metro is going to be the catalyst of this change. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) will also be creating history by constructing its deepest underground station building ever. The underground station will be constructed below the existing station at Hauz Khas Metro station under the next phase of Metro’s expansion. The proposed interchange station will reduce commuting between the two NCR towns to 50 minutes. It will also turn Hauz Khas into one of the busiest interchange Metro stations with its footfall expected to increase from 40,000 to about 1.70 lakh by 2016. “At present, it takes about 2 hours to commute between Gurgaon and Noida with the interchange at Rajiv Chowk. After the new interchange facility, the time will be about 50 minutes,” said Anuj Dayal, chief spokesperson of Delhi Metro

Read more:  Hindustan Times 

Deadline shifted as Dwarka e-way trips on land hurdles

The Northern Peripheral Road is certainly not a road in a hurry. Pitched by the NCR’s property developers as the next gold rush destination, the 18km alternative link between Dwarka and NH-8 – hence called Dwarka Expressway – has been five years on the table but is only 35 percent complete. Nearly 30 percent of the road’s alignment is still uncertain due to land acquisition hurdles. The first deadline passed in March, and although Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), the executing agency, says it will finish the expressway by October, the claim sounds optimistic.

Read more:  The Times of India 

Hospitality

Accor to hire 1,100 employees in India

Hospitality firm Accor today said it would hire 1,100 people in India this year to meet the needs of its growing network. The company plans to operate 90 hotels in India by 2015. It already has 3,600 employees here, the company said in a statement. “We expect to create significant job opportunities across all segments varying from luxury to upscale, mid-scale and economy to low-cost,” Accor India Regional Director Human Resources Ashwin Shirali said.

Read more:  The Financial Express | Financial Chronicle 

Education

Punjab’s first blue-chip B-school opens

On April 14, the Indian School of Business opened its campus in Mohali — a significant event for both the business school and Punjab, its host state. For ISB — the youngest institute to make it to the top 20 global business schools according to rankings by the Financial Times — this is its first expansion after it began operating from its Hyderabad campus in 2001. For Punjab, this will be the state’s first ‘blue-chip’ business school, after it lost the race for an Indian Institute of Management to Haryana. Having ISB at Mohali would also benefit the industries in the state, especially through interactions with the business school’s international faculty, believes Savita Mahajan, chief executive of the Mohali campus. The institute is already training women entrepreneurs from the region, selected under the Women Entrepreneurs Development Programme under the aegis of the ‘Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Initiative’.

Read more: Business Standard

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