* Asian shares edged higher, though sentiment was weak on
mounting worries about the health of Spanish banks while
deepening political chaos in Greece seemed to put the country at
risk of insolvency and a euro exit.
* U.S. stocks fell for the fifth day in six on Wednesday as
investors kept their focus on the turmoil in Europe, but news
that Greece will receive its latest debt bailout payment helped
cut losses late in the session.
KEY EVENTS TO WATCH
* The automobile industry body releases sales figures for
April, with volumes likely to be flat compared with a year.
* India's top power producer NTPC Ltd will report
March-quarter results. Analysts expect profit to drop 7 percent
from a year ago.
* Other Jan-March earnings: Cadila Healthcare,
Cipla, Escorts, Jubilant Foodworks
, Jain Irrigation Systems and Sintex
INDIAN STOCKS TO WATCH
* India's central bank eased restrictions on the usage of
foreign currency deposits on Wednesday, just days after its move
to relax the interest rate ceiling on such deposits. The Reserve
Bank of India has allowed banks to use funds from foreign
currency non-resident deposits as collateral against lending to
related local residents.
* A parliamentary standing committee on finance has
recommended setting up a coordination mechanism between
Securities and Exchange Board of India and the Reserve Bank of
India to curb the flow of tainted money in the stock
market.(Times of India)
* Vodafone Plc said on Wednesday it is disappointed
the Indian government has not proposed changes to address
uncertainty over a retrospective tax legislation, and it will
take all possible steps to safeguard shareholders interest.
* The latest version of the Companies Bill awaiting
Parliament's nod could end the practice of creating treasury
stock and remedy the current situation where such stock has
voting rights that effectively end up increasing the control of
promoters, according to minority shareholder activists. (Mint)
* ICICI Bank raised foreign currency deposit rates
by upto 175 basis points, effective May 8. It raised rates for 1
to 2 year tenure by 75 basis points and for 3 to 5 year tenure
by 175 basis points.
* Securities and Exchange Board of India has delayed its
plan to scrap upfront commission by mutual funds to distributors
after sharp industry protests.(Economic Times)
* India's largest micro-lender SKS Microfinance
will move its headquarters from Hyderabad to Mumbai. (Economic
* India's Tata Motors Finance Ltd plans to raise at least 2
billion rupees ($37.17 million) via two and three-year bonds at
10.40 percent per annum interest, two sources with knowledge
said on Wednesday.
* With power utilities across India in financial trouble,
the Planning Commission believes a one-shot restructuring can
turn the lights back on. But for restructuring to happen, all
stakeholders will have to bear some pain, so the commission
wants the prime minister's office to push its agenda. (Economic
* NTPC, which reports earnings later in the day,
has pushed back the closing date of its 5 million tonne thermal
coal tender until May 23, traders said.
* The power ministry plans to take up project developers'
concerns about the draft fuel supply agreement (FSA) with the
coal ministry soon, a top government official said. (Financial
* Aditya Birla Group, the cash rich conglomerate
headed by Kumar Mangalam Birla, has submitted a non-binding bid
to buy Australia-listed iron ore producing firm Northern Iron
for about $300 million, sources said. (Economic Times)
* Reliance Industries (RIL) raised $2 billion via
a 13-year loan to finance goods and services procured from
German suppliers as part of its expansion projects.
* India's monsoon rains are expected to arrive nearly on
time, a former government forecaster said on Wednesday, adding
to hopes of another drought-free year which would enable the
major crop producer to continue its liberal export policy.
* Hindustan Petroleum Corp aims to sign its
first-ever annual import deal to buy 10,000 barrels per day
(bpd) of oil from Azerbaijan's national oil company SOCAR, a
source with knowledge of the deal said.
* Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilisers Ltd reported
a more than double March-quarter net profit at 208.7 million
rupees, net sales of 10.15 billion rupees.
* Reliance Industries invested fresh capital in its retail
business last year, a reflection of its belief in the long-term
prospects of the business. (Mint)
* In a setback to French power company Alstom SA's
joint venture with Bharat Forge Ltd, the Gujarat high
court on Wednesday ordered the company to stop construction at
the Mundra special economic zone (SEZ) till the Adani group firm
got an environment clearance from the Centre. (Mint)
* GMDC has put on hold its plans to set up
indigenous coal-based thermal power plants with an estimated
investment of 200 billion rupees to generate 4,000 MW. (Business
* Air India faces continued trouble as 400
agitating pilots failed to report to work for a second day,
disrupting flight schedules and leaving passengers stranded
across airports in the country. (Economic Times)
* State-owned MTNL, which provides telecom
services in Delhi and Mumbai regions, will offer voluntary
retirement scheme (VRS) to about 20,000 employees, as part of
its efforts to turn profitable. (Economic Times)
* India is looking to take the United Sates to the World
Trade Organization against the latter's visa fee hike, which
discriminates Indian software companies from American firms.
* India's main drug regulator has not been properly
scrutinising some drugs before approving them, and some of its
officials are colluding with drug firms and medical experts to
circumvent procedure, according to a new parliamentary report.
* ABB Ltd, power and automation technology major,
will invest around 2.5 billion rupees to build new facilities in
India to manufacture high-voltage power products and
transformers. (Business Line)
OTHER FACTORS TO WATCH
* Indian debt/FX factors to watch
* Australian dollar rises after upbeat jobs data
* Brent rises on Greece bailout payment, technicals
* Foreign institutional investor flows
* For closing rates of Indian ADRs
(Compiled by Divya Chowdhury; Editing by Rafael Nam)