India business updates

TCS wins $1.2 billion AC Nielsen deal

In the largest outsourcing deal involving an Indian tech services firm, Tata Consultancy Services Ltd or TCS, Asia’s largest software company, has been contracted for 10 years by information and audience measurement major AC Nielsen Co. to manage its networks, finance and human resource functions.

TCS will receive at least $1.2 billion or Rs4,740 crore, which is unevenly spread over the contract period, with a potential upsidedepending on performance. “This deal commits us to a certain amount of spending of $1.2 billion; in some areas, services are on fixed-price
basis, in others, there are incentives,” said Mitchell Habib, executive vice-president, global business, Nielsen, in a phone interview.

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Reliance Q2 rises 28% on refining gains

Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) posted a 28% increase in its second quarter profit (compared with a year ago) on the back of higher earnings from oil refining and chemicals. The Rs3,837 crore net profit bettered the Rs3,300 crore market expectations of seven analysts polled by Bloomberg. Revenues rose 6% to Rs33,402 crore.

In a statement issued on Thursday, RIL said it earned $13.6 (Rs537.20) from processing each barrel of oil into fuels, compared with $9.1 a year ago. Profit from the refining and marketing business rose 56%, from Rs1,486 crore in the second quarter of last year to Rs2,321 crore in the quarter ended 30 September 2007.

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Macquarie to buy 50% of Religare wealth management arm

Australia’s biggest securities firm, Macquarie Bank Ltd, will buy 50% of an Indian wealth management firm founded by Religare Enterprises Ltd for an undisclosed sum. The business, Religare Wealth Management Services Ltd, will be renamed Religare Macquarie Wealth Ltd.

The number of Indians with at least $1 million (Rs3.95 crore) in net financial assets grew 21% in 2006, the second fastest in Asia Pacific, according to a Merrill Lynch & Co. and Capgemini report released on Wednesday. Rising incomes and the country’s rallying equity and real estate markets have helped create wealth. India’s high net worth individuals hold a total $350 billion in financial assets, it said.

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