Page 88 - November Full Issue Digital
P. 88
NEWSBREAKERS FISCAL LORD A little over a year after taking over as the 23rd Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, Dr. Raghuram Rajan has shown that he is very much in control, both at the organisational level – despite internal opposition he has been involved in the restructuring of the apex bank and has been able to bring sweeping changes – and in terms of the economy, which he has so smartly steered out of the red. Thanks to his unequivocal market guidance and policies India's rate of inflation has not just fallen from 9.84 per cent in September 2013 to 7.8 per cent in August 2014, the Rupee's slide vis a vis the U.S. dollar has fallen by about 20 per cent. What is hugely evident is that the central bank is today is in more control and in a position of credibility than it was prior to his arrival at the helm. And now as if to confirm his growing clout as custodian of the country’s economy is the news of Dr. Raghuram Rajan being conferred with the Best Central Bank Governor award for 2014 by Euromoney magazine for his tough monetary medicine which helped the economy recover in the recent market crisis. Dr. Rajan was the President of the American Finance Association in 2011 and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The other awards he has received include the global Indian of the year award from NASSCOM in 2011, the Infosys prize for the Economic Sciences in 2012, and the Center for Financial Studies- Deutsche Bank Prize for Financial Economics in 2013. ACQUISITION AGGRO Kumar Managalam Birla is on a consolidation spree. The Chairman of the $40 billion multinational Aditya Birla Group, which operates in 36 countries across six continents, has recently indicated his intention to purchase global assets likely to be carved out of the Lafarge-Holcim merger. His firm Ultratech Cement, along with other companies belonging to the group, has submitted bids for the cement units of Lafarge and Holcim in Brazil and the Philipines at an enterprise value of $1.4 billion. It may be recalled that Ultratech acquired the cement unit of Jaypee Group last year. Further the alumina and aluminium capacity of Hindalco, a group firm, will be doubled once its mega-expansion plans are completed. With the commissioning of the projects the company’s alumina and aluminium capacity will be doubled from 1.5 million tonnes (MT) to 3 MT and 0.6 MT to 1.3 MT respectively. Notwithstanding market-related headwinds, 2014 has been a watershed year for the company with each of its three strategic greenfield projects – Utkal Alumina, Mahan Aluminium and Aditya Aluminium – going on stream and currently ramping up. These projects are expected to redefine Hindalco's cost competitiveness on the global map. The Aditya Birla Group has concluded 36 acquisitions in 20 countries since Kumar Mangalam Birla came to the helm in 1995 after the untimely death of his father. The Group's businesses are spread across a swath of industries including aluminium, copper, cement, textiles, carbon black, insulators, natural resources, power, agribusiness, telecommunications, financial services, retail and trading. 90 construction opportunities|NOVEMBER 2014
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