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* The near-month derivative contract for India’s NSE index at Singapore Exchange rose 0.2 percent, while MSCI Asia ex-Japan surged 1.2 percent.
* Asian shares and commodities staged a mild recovery on Tuesday, with stocks holding a touch above 2012 lows, as investors looked to European policymakers and the wider G7 to take decisive action to address the worsening euro zone crisis.
* The S&P 500 ended flat on Monday after recent sharp losses, though worries about the European debt crisis and weaker U.S. data kept investors wary of equities.
* The finance ministry is meeting top Indian brokers, mutual funds and foreign institutional investors on Tuesday to iron out issues that may exist regarding investments into domestic assets. (Financial Chronicle)
* Punjab National Bank, which had proposed to buy 30 per cent in MetLife Insurance for 1 rupee, has reworked the sale agreement amidst the insurance regulator’s discomfort with the deal structure. (Business Standard)
* Although the finance ministry is tightening its rules around companies that invest in India through countries with favourable tax regimes, the ministry itself is looking at options to save taxes for India Infrastructure Finance Company’s (IIFCL) UK-based subsidiary.
It is considering a plan to relocate the U.K. arm of the infrastructure financier to the Netherlands to save taxes and make it more viable. (Economic Times)
* The finance ministry is looking to raise excise duty on diesel-run vehicles to bolster its tax revenues without raising diesel prices. (Economic Times)
* Cement companies are contemplating to reduce prices by around 8-10 rupees per 50 kg bag later this month in anticipation of a slowdown in construction activities when the monsoon arrives. (Financial Chronicle)
* State-run Fertilisers and Chemicals Travancore invited expression of interests (EOI) from both public and private companies for its proposed 60 billion rupees joint venture. (Economic Times)
* India is hoping to secure oil and gas exploration blocks in Afghanistan on the basis of its goodwill with the country, while it may also participate in the upcoming auction of six blocks to the north of Mazar-i-Sharif, officials said. (Economic Times)
* Hero MotoCorp has approved a proposal to merge the investment arm of its parent into the automaker, the company said.
* Bajaj Auto’s two-wheeler plant in Pantnagar, Uttarakhand, was hit on Monday by a workers’ strike over wage increases, bringing production down by over 50 per cent for the day, according to sources close to the development. (Business Line)
* Piramal Healthcare Ltd, which sold its pharmaceutical formulations business for 176 billion rupees to U.S. drug maker Abbott Laboratories in 2010, is on the prowl to build its pharma business again. (Mint)
* ITC Ltd, the country’s biggest tobacco company and a maker of cookies and potato chips, will increase prices of some food products as the rupee’s plunge to a record low threatens its highest profit margin in nine years. (Mint)
* An empowered group of ministers headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee will meet on Tuesday to decide on the reserve price for the auction of 2G telecom spectrum. (Business Standard)
* A Cabinet note prepared by the telecom department proposes to make it compulsory for all operators to match the auction-determined price for their existing 2G airwaves for the remaining period of their licences, which may lead to up to 1.2-trillion rupees in fees. (Economic Times)
* Leading infrastructure developer Sun Forest City Ventures Ltd. will build one of Asia’s largest hubs for the aerospace industry near Bangalore with an upfront investment of 100 billion rupees, a senior official said Monday. (Economic Times)
* The government may announce aid measures such as interest subsidies for hard-pressed labour intensive sectors such as textiles and carpets in the Foreign Trade Policy this week to provide them cushion against the global slowdown. (Economic Times)
OTHER FACTORS TO WATCH * Indian debt/FX factors to watch * Euro extends rebound as bears trim bets * Brent crude rebounds above $99 on dollar, G7 talks * Foreign institutional investor flows * For closing rates of Indian ADRs
Compiled by Manoj Rawal; Editing by Rafael Nam