Month: September 2007

Indo-French nuclear business meets from Oct 15

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Indo-French nuclear business meets from Oct 15
28 Sep, 2007, 1630 hrs IST, PTI

MUMBAI: In the backdrop of Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) planning to buy six nuclear power reactors from France, an Indo-French nuclear business meet will begin here from October 15.

The meeting is organised by the French embassy in collaboration with NPCIL, a top scientist said.

“The two-day meet is to strengthen the bilateral cooperation in the nuclear power sector and also to improve the relationship between the industries of both India and France,” S K Agrawal, Director, Projects of NPCIL told media today.

“We are expecting the participation of over 20 French nuclear companies including AREVA and an equal number from India,” he said.

NPCIL plans to buy six nuclear power reactors from France, Agrawal said.

AREVA could be one of the biggest suppliers for its Jaitapur site in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra which is one of the four coastal sites selected by NPCIL for imported reactors, he said.

Also, NPCIL can enter into business with the French only after the completion of the Indo-US deal, he said.

On that front, US has a timeframe for the entire process including India’s discussion with the International Atomic Energy Agency on safeguards and US’ negotiations with the NSG countries.

Asked whether other members of Nuclear Suppliers Group were also in touch with NPCIL officials, Agrawal said, the Japanese were interested and Mitsuibishi had held talks with the NPCIL officials.

Oil industry safety awards presented

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Oil industry safety awards presented
30 Sep, 2007, 1500 hrs IST, PTI

MUMBAI: Recognising the efforts of oil and gas industry in enhancing safety performance, the ‘Oil Industry Safety Awards 2006-07’ were presented to five oil companies here.

The awards were given to the companies by the Secretary, Petroleum & Natural Gas, M S Srinivasan, at a function held in the city, a release said here today.

Indian Oil, ONGC and GAIL, won two awards each while Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum won one award each.

Indian Oil’s Mathura refinery won the award for the best safety performance among refineries and ONGC’s Ahmedabad operation was adjudged the best managed oil and gas asset, the release said.

Bharat Petroleum won the award for its lube oil blending plant while GAIL won accolades for managing its Hazira-Vijaipur-Jagdishpur pipeline and the processing plant at Vijaipur.

Hindustan Petroleum won the safety award in the petroleum products marketing category and Indian Oil in the LPG marketing category.

The criteria for selection of winners was based on various parameters like complexity of facility, volumes handled, safety management system with minimum fires, accidents and losses.

The Oil Industry Safety awards were instituted in 1986-87 by the Government to promote safety performance in the industry.

They are administered by the Oil Industry Safety Director, New Delhi, which co-ordinates a series of self-regulatory measures relating to safety in the oil and gas industry in the country.

Nifty seen on course for fresh high

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Nifty seen on course for fresh high
24 Sep, 2007, 0257 hrs IST,

We saw a ‘bullish engulfing candle’ for the Nifty on Tuesday, which was a strong candlestick pattern for an upward move for the market. This was mainly due to the surge in major indices on Wednesday and robust gains on Friday. The Nifty ended the week at 4,837, its highest-ever closing, and a gain of 7% over the previous week.

It has been gaining for the past five consecutive weeks. Market breadth was negative on Friday, but it was positive for most part of the week. BSE Realty, BSE Oil & Gas and BSE Bankex indices were among the prominent gainers during the week.

Market ahead

Last week’s upmove was backed by strong volumes, and we expect the market to build on these gains in the coming days. This week, the Nifty is expected to consolidate in the 4,850-4,900 band. We also expect a major up-move for the market beyond 4,950 and touch 5,000 levels in the short term.

Sectoral Indices

BSE Oil & Gas (9,340): The BSE Oil & Gas index had broken past the crucial resistance level of 8,200 about three weeks ago, and has been on the uptrend ever since. On a weekly closing basis, the index has been on an uptrend for six weeks in a row. It was also helped by the buoyant trend in the international oil market. We expect this index to touch 9,750 levels in the short term. Petronet LNG and Gail are our favourite stocks.

BSE Bankex (8,740)

The BSE Bankex has closed at 8,740 level last week, and is now quoting at an all-time high. We expect this index to touch 9,000 levels in the short term. Kotak Bank and Oriental Bank of Commerce are our favourite stocks in this sector.

SBI: After being restricted in the Rs 1,400 to Rs 1,750 range for the past three months, we saw SBI breaking out of that range on Friday. The stock ended the week at Rs 1,808. We recommend a ‘buy’ on SBI in the Rs 1,800 to Rs 1,820 band, with a target of Rs 1,935. Investors should fix their stop loss in this stock at Rs 1,760.

BSE Realty (9,183)

The BSE Realty Sector closed at 9,183 levels last week, and is now quoting at an all-time high. This sector rose above its key resistance level of 8,500 supported by strong volumes. We expect this index to touch 9,500 levels in the short term. Indiabulls Real Estate and Purvankara are the best bets in this sector.

Akruti Nirman: The stock has broken above its key resistance level of Rs 705, supported by strong volumes. We recommend a ‘buy’ in the Rs 745-750 range with a price target of Rs 835 and keeping a stop loss at Rs 720.

DS Kulkarni Developers: The stock has broken above its key resistance level of Rs 260, supported by strong volumes. We recommend ‘buy’ in the Rs 272-275 range, with a price target of Rs 302 and keeping a stop loss at Rs 258.

(This is the weekly technical outlook of Reliance Money technical desk)

Investing in a bull market

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Investing in a bull market
30 Sep, 2007, 0901 hrs IST,Kavita Sriram , TNN

The stock markets are brimming with optimism. Money is pouring into the market like never before. The index has embraced unimaginably new highs. For now, it appears that the bull-run is at the horizon. For a true bull market, at least 20-25 per cent of the stocks must be on an increase and that too for a sustained period say two years. An upswing market is considered a good time for the investor.

What sort of a strategy must investors adopt to make it rich in a bull run? It is not unusual to find some stocks faring poorly in a bull market and some doing exceptionally well in a bear market. A bull run implies a booming economy, low unemployment rate, high production of goods, and low inflation.
The market ups and downs follow cyclic patterns.

For now, it is the time of rising index and increasing volatility. In a bull run, investors follow the formula ‘buy low and sell high’. It is now time for investors to sell their stocks and book profits. Investors need to make well-educated and investigated investments in the markets.

Mere speculation can prove costly. Suppose in a bear market one stock fares poorly. An investor who has done enough research will know the reason for its fall. There may be something fundamentally wrong with the stock and the company policies.

Or the slide in the stock’s price will be a reflection of general pessimism pervading a bear market. If an investor knows that it is the latter, he will stay calm and may be even add more stocks of the company to his portfolio. On the other hand, if he believes that something is fundamentally wrong with the stock, he may decide to sell it and stop further loss.

The scenario holds much the same in a bull market. Some stocks may become highly overpriced. An overpriced stock in a heated market is sure to burst when the bull run ends. Some investors prefer to sell all their shares and make profits. Another strategy is to sell some of the shares and buy back the stock when the price falls back to reasonably low levels.

The value of equities tends to rise fast in a bull run. Predictably, the equity investments in your portfolio will become disproportionately higher. Depending upon your age, objectives and financial obligations, you would have arrived at an asset allocation plan.

In order to stick to the asset allocation, make a judicious down-sizing of the equity component. This will provide ample cushion in case the bubble bursts and markets fall. In a bull run, investigate the real value or worth of the stocks. Do not invest in overpriced stocks. It is advisable to sell overvalued stocks. Exit immediately if you feel the prices have gone up adequately.

Invest regularly. The power of compounding and systematic investment plans goes a long way in wealth accumulation. Finally, bear in mind that there are no permanent bull and bear markets. Disciplined investing and avoiding speculation will help investors.

Job Hopping!!

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Mr. Gopalakrishnan succeeds Mr. Ratan Tata as Chairman of Tata Sons
Ltd., the holding company for many of the Tata Bluechips like Tata
Steel, Tata Motors, Tata Power, Tata Chemicals, Voltas, etc.,

Possibly he is the first non-Tata person to head the Tata Empire.

The grass isn’t always greener on the other side!!

Move from one job to another, but only for the right reasons. It’s yet
another day at office. As I logged on to the marketing and advertising
sites for the latest updates, as usual, I found the headlines
dominated by ‘who’s moving from one company to another after a
short stint’, and I wondered, why are so many people leaving one job
for another?

Is it passé now to work with just one company for a sufficiently long

Whenever I ask this question to people who leave a company, the
answers I get are: “Oh, I am getting a 200% hike in salary”; “Well, I
am jumping three levels in my designation”; “Well, they are going to
send me abroad in six months”.

Then, I look around at all the people who are considered successful
today and who have reached the top – be it a media agency, an
advertising agency or a company. I find that most of these people are
the ones who have stuck to the company, ground their heels and worked
their way to the top. And, as I look around for people who changed
their jobs constantly, I find they have stagnated at some level, in

In this absolutely ruthless, dynamic and competitive environment,
there are still no short-cuts to success or to making money. The only
thing that continues to pay, as earlier, is loyalty and hard work.
Yes, it pays!

Sometimes, immediately, sometimes after a lot of time. But, it does

Does this mean that one should stick to an organization and wait for
that golden moment? Of course not. After a long stint, there always
comes a time for moving in most organizations, but it is important to
move for the right reasons, rather than superficial ones, like money,
designation or an overseas trip.

Remember, no company recruits for charity.

More often than not, when you are offered an unseemly hike in salary
or designation that is disproportionate to what that company offers it
current employees, there is always unseen bait attached.

The result? You will, in the long-term, have reached exactly the same
levels or maybe lower levels than what you would have in your current

A lot of people leave an organization because they are “unhappy”. What
is this so-called-unhappiness? I have been working for donkey’s years
and there has never been a day when I am not unhappy about something
in my work environment-boss, rude colleague, fussy clients etc.

Unhappiness in a workplace, to a large extent, is transient.

If you look hard enough, there is always something to be unhappy

But, more importantly, do I come to work to be “happy” in the truest

If I think hard, the answer is “No”. Happiness is something you find
with family, friends, may be a close circle of colleagues who have
become friends.

What you come to work for is to earn, build a reputation, satisfy your
ambitions, be appreciated for your work ethics, face challenges and
get the job done.

So, the next time you are tempted to move, ask yourself why you moving
and what are are you moving into.

Some questions are:

* Am I ready and capable of handling the new responsibility? If yes,
what could be the possible reasons my current company has not offered
me the same responsibility?

* Who are the people who currently handle this responsibility in the
current and new company? Am I as good as the best among them?

* As the new job offer has a different profile, why have I not given
the current company the option to offer me this profile?

* Why is the new company offering me the job? Do they want me for my
skills, or is there an ulterior motive?

An honest answer to these will eventually decide where you go in your
career- to the top of the pile in the long term (at the cost of
short-term blips) or to become another average employee who gets lost
with time in the wilderness?

“DESERVE BEFORE YOU DESIRE” – Dr. Gopalkrishnan, Chairman TATA Sons.

Iran and Pakistan agree to gas accord without India

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Iran and Pakistan agree to gas accord without India Reuters Published: September 30, 2007, 00:33

Tehran: Pakistan has agreed to details of a deal for buying gas from Iran, officials from both sides said on Friday, adding that the proposed tri-nation pipeline would be viable even if India, the third party, walked out.

India stayed away from last week’s talks in Tehran on the proposed $7 billion pipeline, saying it wanted to agree transit costs through Pakistan on a bilateral basis first, an Iranian official said. But he said India had not said it was quitting.

“The economics of the project will improve with Indian participation but … the project is economically viable as a bilateral project also,” Mukhtar Ahmad, the energy adviser to Pakistan’s prime minister, told reporters in Tehran.

Hojjatollah Ghanimifard, international affairs director of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), said the three sides had previously planned for gas sales and purchase agreements (GSPAs) to be negotiated separately by India and Pakistan.

“So far, the information formally we have from the authorities of India is that they are willing to join us. They have just their internal problems, including that they need to finalise the transit fee with our good Pakistani friends,” Ghanimifard said after talks late on Friday.

Iran’s oil minister said on Wednesday his country would still sign a deal with Pakistan if India decided not to join.

Mukhtar said Pakistan and India had agreed in principle how to tackle issues like transportation tariffs and transit fees.

“We don’t see transit through Pakistan as a problem. We’ve had bilateral discussions with India on this subject,” he said, although he said more talks were be needed.

Speaking of Pakistan’s talks with Iran, Mukhtar said: “We have agreed upon everything that we needed to agree on with regard to the gas sales and purchase agreement and the inter-governmental framework agreement.”

He said the details would be drawn up in final documents to be examined at bilateral talks in Islamabad on October 15-19.

Mukhtar did not give details for the price of the gas agreed but said it would be linked to the price of oil. He also they also agreed on a price review clause – an issue that had been pending – but he did not elaborate.

In July, Ghanimifard said India and Pakistan had accepted Iran’s demand for gas price reviews based on market changes.

He denied reports by some Indian newspapers that the pipeline talks had failed after Iran demanded a review every three years.

The pipeline would initially carry 60 million cubic metres of gas daily to Pakistan and India, half for each country.

The pipeline’s capacity would later rise to 150 million cubic metres. Pakistan says it could want 60 million cubic metres for itself in the future.

Iran says it has completed 18 per cent of the work for the pipeline to bring gas from its South Pars field up to Iran-Pakistan border. Pakistan has yet to begin work on a 1,000 km stretch of the pipeline to link Iran with India.

Strong demand: New Delhi plans about five petrochemical zones

India said on Friday it plans to set up 4 or 5 oil and petrochemical zones, each with an investment of up to $2.5 billion, to tap growing demand.

“There is a gradual shift in demand and production of petrochemicals from the west to the east and we want to make the best out of it by setting up the zones,” Chemicals and Fertiliser Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said. He said several state governments had expressed an interest in developing a so-called Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemical Investment Region (PCPIR).

“We cannot set up the PCPIR in all the states which have come forward. We have adopted a first-come-first-serve approach for allowing states to go ahead with it,” he said.

China bets on Myanmar status quo for gas deals

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China bets on Myanmar status quo for gas deals
Reuters Published: September 30, 2007, 00:33

Hong Kong: China struck an energy coup with a pipeline deal in Myanmar earlier this year but its cosy relationship with the ruling generals could come back to haunt it if the investment environment opens up, analysts say.

The military government of the impoverished southeast Asian state gets most of its export earnings from selling gas to Thailand and it has stepped up a drive to attract more foreign investment in the last three years.

But a week of unrest, in which at least 9 people died when troops broke up the biggest anti-government demonstrations in nearly 20 years, has raised the question of what might happen if the military government loses its grip on power.

“If the junta is overthrown -and that’s a very big if – clearly that might have an impact on China because it has invested a lot over the last 20 years,” said Ian Storey, a fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore.

“We’re well into the grounds of speculation but if a more pro-Western government came into power they might seek to limit China’s involvement. China is an important ally of Burma and it won’t want to lose that.”

Myanmar is wedged between China and India, making it a small but juicy prize in a furious battle for energy between the world’s two most populous nations.

Its proven gas reserves amount to only 0.3 per cent of the world’s total, but a lack of exploration means the true figure could be much higher.

Chinese oil giant Petro-China appears to have won the last round by snatching a gas pipeline agreement from under India’s nose. It has sweetened the deal by talking to Myanmar about running an oil pipeline along the same route.

Such a pipeline would ease the passage of Saudi crude bound for China by cutting out the congested Malacca Straits, but would be dependent on the goodwill of the regime in Myanmar.

While China has been quietly trying to build ties with democratic and ethnic groups in Myanmar in recent years, Beijing has remained a steady friend to the ruling generals.

“If there was a change in government, there could be a rethink of the gas pipeline to China,” said Sanjeev Prasad at Kotak Securities.

Observers are not predicting an imminent change of government in Myanmar, but many other countries have experienced unexpectedly rapid changes of leadership in the last 20 years.

For the moment, the country’s biggest investors like Total and Thailand’s PTTET as well as South Korea’s Daewoo International Corp, operator of a multi-billion-dollar gas project under way, say it’s business as usual.

Kuwait shortlists firms for new refinery

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Kuwait shortlists firms for new refinery
Reuters Published: September 30, 2007, 00:33

Kuwait: State refiner Kuwait National Petroleum Co (KNPC) yesterday announced firms pre-qualifying for the construction of the state’s planned 615,000 barrels per day (bpd) Al Zour refinery.

KNPC said last week Kuwait had approved a budget of about $14 billion for the construction of the refinery, the Middle East’s biggest, more than twice an initial cost estimate.

The tender was split into several construction packages for which the following firms pre-qualified, according to a KNPC statement published in local daily Al Qabas.

Tender details

A consortium of Italy’s Snamprogetti and Korea’s Hyundai Engineering & Construction, consortium of Japan’s JGC and Korea’s GS Engineering & Construction and consortium of Technip Italy, Foster Wheeler and Korea’s SK Engineering & Construction qualified for crude distillation units, sulphur removal and units to treat naphtha, kerosene and diesel.

For hydrogen production and recovery, sulphur industrialisation, units to treat diesel, etc, those qualified include a consortium of Technip Italy and Foster Wheeler Energy and Snamprogetti, consortium of Hyundai Engineering & Construction and Daelim Industrial Co, GS Engineering & Construction, WGI Middle East, SK Engineering & Construction and Petrofac International.

For tank storages, those qualified include consortium of CB & I and CBI Eastern Anstalt, Daelim Industrial, GS Engineering & Construction, SK Engineering & Construction and Petrofac International.

Fasting for the first time

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Fasting for the first time
By Ruqya Khan, Gulf News Report Published: September 30, 2007, 00:33

Growing up means different things to different children. Some feel grown up when they are given responsibility, while others feel content when they are allowed to interact more closely with their elders. But what exactly is growing up all about? It’s a process of learning and understanding day to day life and accounting for one’s actions.

Though there is no set age to begin fasting, it becomes compulsory for every Muslim, male or female, after he or she reaches puberty. Often children as young as seven choose to fast.

Though they may not fast the entire month, this practice strengthens them mentally and spiritually.

Al Hajjaj Bin Habib is 9. He is in grade 4 at Al Hikmah Private School in Ajman. This year was his first fasting experience. He said: “I am very excited about fasting as all my classmates are fasting as well. I felt so proud of myself for having hung on till iftar time. As a means of encouragement I was given a monetary reward to save in my piggy bank and it was the ultimate treat. Last year I tried to fast, but was only able to fast half a day.”

“I’ve learnt that with intention and a strong will, desires can easily be defeated. Now I understand the pain of hunger and want to share the extra food left over with the poor at Al Ihsan Charity Centre.”

Ten-year-old Sidra Momin agreed. “On other days I would not feel hungry. My mum would have to force me to eat, but when I fasted I knew what the needy feel.


“Now I don’t take my blessings for granted. It helped me realise how much effort my parents put into the day when they fast. I now enjoy helping my mother set the table, arrange the fruits, etc, at iftar time. It doesn’t feel like a chore anymore,” said Sidra.

“In Ramadan everything and everyone is different. We visit places like parks and mosques instead of the usual routine of spending time in the malls. My parents are more relaxed, dad comes home early and we get to meet with the family and friends more often during iftar gatherings. I like that. Plus, I get to select my clothes for Eid, which is great!”

Kahkashan Kareem, a grade 4 student at the Gulf Indian High School, said, “I think fasting makes us better people. We are able to wait from suhour to iftar to eat and drink. Plus, when I’m fasting I make sure I don’t get angry at my sisters – Safoora, 6, and Darakhshan, 12. In fact, my elder sister encourages me to be punctual for my prayers. She supports me and keeps me away from the mischief of my little sister.

“I think Ramadan is exciting. The relatives get together each weekend and I like to exchange ideas with my cousins about how we fasted, what we did at school, etc. I also enjoy the iftar spread – my favourite is chocolate juice. Mummy makes this by adding milk, cream and sugar to melted chocolate ice cream. It’s really yummy and easy to make.

“But that’s not all. We even get to go to the mosque for special Tharaweeh prayers. Sometimes I even attend dars (religious lectures) with my mother and aunts. Here the teacher tells us about the simple rules to follow and it’s said like stories from the Quran or Hadith (sayings of the Prophet Mohammad PBUH). It’s never boring.”


Mohammad Yousuf and Mohammad Khalid are cousins studying at Al Wataniya Private School. They started fasting on the first day of Ramadan. Yousuf is in grade 5.

He said, “Fasting takes a lot of patience. The first day I was miserable. I could not tolerate having my younger siblings come close to me after they had just eaten. I think my sense of smell had suddenly become stronger because I could smell what they ate or drank and it tempted me a lot.

But I was happy that I made it through the day just like my younger cousin, Khalid.”

Khalid added, “As usual we went to the grocery store that day and bought the goodies we liked, but didn’t eat them until after iftar time. Each year during Ramadan the whole family gathers at my uncle’s house to break the fast. On my first fast it felt really nice when everyone congratulated us. We have been promised a surprise gift after two weeks of fasting, I can hardly wait.

“Most of my friends in school are fasting so I don’t feel out of place during recess. I think school days are easier to go by without food and drink because there is a fixed schedule, we study, play, come home tired, rest and then ready ourselves for the evening meal with the family. But on weekends there is little to do except smell the aroma of dishes in the kitchen.”

Did you know?

Fasting is compulsory for all Muslims once they reach puberty.

However, many children, some as young as 7, also fast during Ramadan.

They may fast only a few days or a few hours.

Children can also attend prayers at the mosque and religious lectures with their family members.