RBI keeps rates unchanged
The central bank kept its benchmark interest rates unchanged yesterday, after three successive cuts, citing inflationary concerns and a weak rupee in the face of a global economic slowdown. After meeting in Mumbai, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said the benchmark repo rate, at which it lends to commercial banks, would be on hold at 7.25 percent, as expected by most economists. The cash reserve ratio — the percentage of deposits banks must keep with the central bank — was also kept unchanged at 4 percent.
Suntory unit prices IPO
Suntory Holdings Ltd plans to price shares of its soft-drinks unit between ￥3,000 and ￥3,800 in what would be Japan’s biggest initial public offering (IPO) this year. The Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd listing will raise ￥375.6 billion to ￥475.8 billion (US$3.95 billion to US$5 billion) based on the sale of 125.2 million shares including over allotment, according to Bloomberg calculation. The low end of the range is 21 percent below the tentative IPO price of ￥3,800 the company set last month for the July 3 Tokyo listing. The offer price will be finalized on June 24, according to a May 29 filing.
Temasek sets up UK unit
Temasek Holdings Pte, Singapore’s state-owned investment company, said it has set up a UK-based unit that will focus on investments in the region. John Cryan, president of Europe and co-head of the portfolio and strategy group, was named as one of the two directors of the new unit, Financial News reported earlier. Stephen Forshaw, a spokesman for the investment company, confirmed in an e-mailed statement that the creation of the “UK-incorporated entity” will help Cryan’s role. The new unit “provides a suitable setup to match our investment activity in Europe, which will very much be a continuing focus for us,” Forshaw said in the statement.
British mutual ups cushion
The Co-operative Bank yesterday said that it was putting in place a plan to increase its capital cushion by an additional ￡1.5 billion (US$2.4 billion) to secure its future. The British bank, which as a so-called mutual is owned by its 4.7 million customers, said in a statement that it would raise the new capital by issuing a bond and new shares, with ￡1 billion being raised this year and the remainder next year. “We have put in place a detailed and comprehensive solution to meet the current and longer-term capital requirements of the bank. In doing so we have agreed a plan to ensure its future,” said Euan Sutherland, chief executive of The Co-operative Group, the bank’s parent.
Sundance eyes acquisitions
Sundance Energy Australia Ltd, an explorer that entered the Eagle Ford shale formation of Texas this year with the purchase of Texon Petroleum Ltd, said it will look to make further US oil and gas acquisitions. Sundance is capable of making another deal the size of the Texon transaction, valued at about A$100 million (US$96 million), and will consider adding acreage through drilling leases or purchases, managing director Eric McCrady said in an interview in Sydney. The Denver-based company is not negotiating any acquisitions at present, he said.