Rupee weakens as oil importers rush to buy dollars
The rupee closed weaker on Friday at 49.14/15 per dollar after initial high of 48.98 earlier. Oil importers rushed to buy dollars as the month comes to the end.
Furthering the dollar rush, tension between Iran at the West prompts fears of greater increase in global oil prices.
India imports 80% of its oil. 12% of that comes from Iran.
However, strong foreign inflows are shoring up the rupee. According to the Securities and Exchange Board of India, about $9 billion have been invested in Indian equities since the beginning of 2012.
India looks to Saudi to replace Iranian oil
Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas R P N Singh met with Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Assistant Minister for Petroleum Affairs, Saudi Arabia on Thursday.
India asked Saudi Arabia to buy an additional 5 million tons of crude oil for 2012-2013. Currently India buys 27 million tons of crude oil per year from the country.
India imports 17 million tons of oil from Iran. If it can get 5 more tons from Saudi Arabia, this would replace at least 10% of its crude oil imports from Iran.
Minister Singh also took the opportunity to invite Saudi investment in petroleum sector — upstream and downstream — including OPAL’s Petrochemical project at Dahej and OMPL’s Petrochemical project at Mangalore.
(Source: The Hindu, Hindustan Times, Business Standard)
Ranbaxy reports loss after settlement with US FDA
India’s largest drug company reported its biggest ever quarterly loss after the company settled a legal dispute with U.S. authorities in the amount of $ 500 million in December 2011.
The loss amounted to 29.8 billion rupees ($608 million) in the fourth quarter, from 974.8 million rupees a year earlier.
Ranbaxy ran into trouble after accusations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Justice of manufacturing problems and fraudulent testing.
The FDA imposed a temporary ban on more than 30 generic drugs made at Ranbaxy’s Paonta Sahib and Dewas plants in September 2008.
However, Ranbaxy made significant gains buoyed by the exclusive sale of generic drug Lipitor in the US market. Sales rose 79 percent to 37.4 billion rupees over the same period.