Business & Economy

Holcim's war chest for
India: Rs 4,300 crore 

What is India News Service, Friday, 4 February 2005, 1800 hrs IST

Holcim, the world\92s second largest cement company, plans to invest $1 billion (approximately Rs 4,300 crore) to expand its footprint in India over the next 5-7 years. 

This investment is in addition to the Swiss company\92s investment of $800 million in acquiring a 67 per cent stake in Ambuja Cement India Ltd (ACIL), the closely held investment firm that owns 13.8 per cent in ACC, and to scale up its holding in ACC to 50 per cent. Gujarat Ambuja Cement Ltd (GACL) will finally hold 33 per cent in ACIL. 

Confirming Holcim\92s $1 billion investment proposal, GACL Executive Director Anil Singhvi told Business Standard that GACL would partner Holcim in all future forays by Holcim in the cement sector in India. This \93partnership\94 is, however, not binding on GACL. 

According to the shareholders\92 agreement signed between GACL and Holcim, GACL can go solo for any acquisition if it wishes, while Holcim will always route its acquisition through ACIL in which GACL will continue to hold 33 per cent.

National e-governance plan drawn up: The Union Communications and Information Technology Minister, Dayanidhi Maran, today said that the United Progressive Alliance Government had drawn up a national e-governance action plan to ensure that all citizens had access to information.

Per capita income rises: India's national per capita income in real terms at 1993-94 prices rose by 7.1 per cent at Rs 11,799 during 2003-04 against Rs 11,013 in the previous year. 

FDI flows may rise to $15 billion: India is expected to reap a bonanza in foreign direct investment inflows with as much as $15 billion expected during 2004-05, according to Industry Ministry officials.

New policy to ensure quality power at affordable rates: The National Electricity Policy, approved by the Union Cabinet on Wednesday, estimates that an investment of Rs. 900,000 crores will be required to fund generation, transmission, distribution and rural electrification projects.

FinMin against EPFO investing in POs: The Finance Ministry is learnt to have asked the Employees\92 Provident Fund Organisation to generate its own resources to meet the additional expenditure following a rise in the interest rate to 9.5 per cent. 

ONGC to invest Rs 569 cr in Heera offshore field: The ONGC has approved an investment of Rs 569.07 crore, for installation of two well platforms for enhancing oil and gas production from its offshore field, Heera. 

Dabhol project solution in sight, says Sayeed: The government today claimed that a solution is in sight to revive the 2,184-MW Dabhol power project, once billed as the single largest foreign investment in the country. Addressing a press conference here today, Power Minister P. M. Sayeed said the Empowered Group of Ministers (e-GOM), set up resolve the issues that had plagued the project, had held more deliberations recently. 

Work starts for powerloom parks: With the Centre sanctioning the hi-tech weaving park proposals for three places in the State, all the three projects are expected to be commissioned in 10-12 months.

Russian firm's offer for Aircel: The Sterling Group has received offer from a Russian company for picking up a 49 per cent stake in Aircel
Televentures Ltd., the holding company of its mobile telephone firms.

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