Archive for July 16th, 2009

Bajaj Auto phases out Pulsar 200; await new Pulsar 220 rew

Bajaj-Pulsar-220-DTSi

Bajaj Auto has phased out the Pulsar 200 model to make way for the new Pulsar 220, as both were priced on a par, despite the latter being more powerful.

The new Pulsar 220, launched three weeks earlier, is a refurbished version of the earlier model launched in December 2006. The Pulsar 200 was launched in January 2007 and carried an ex-showroom price of about Rs 70,000.

However, to take on competing products in the premium category (priced upwards of Rs 65,000) with the likes of Yamaha FZ16, Fazer and R15, Hero Honda’s Karizma, TVS Apache 180 and the Honda CBF Stunner PGM-FI, Bajaj has slashed the price of Pulsar 220 by more than Rs 15,000. It will now be sold at Rs 70,000, ex-showroom.

S Sridhar, chief executive (two-wheelers), Bajaj Auto, said, “The carburettored version of the new Pulsar 220, which has been launched, offers higher power and better performance at a much lesser price.

So, continuing with the Pulsar 200 was not possible, as it was priced in the similar range. We wanted to offer the buyers a better bike at an affordable rate.”

The bike, however, is still available in select showrooms at the earlier price without any discounts. “Some units of the Pulsar 200 are available with us and there will be no more supply of it from the company,” said a Mumbai-based dealer of the Probiking showroom, Bajaj’s speciality outlet that sells only premium bikes.

The Pulsar 200 has a 198.8cc engine, which delivers 18 bhp power, while the Pulsar 220 has a 220cc engine, which generates 21.04 bhp of peak power. Although the new Pulsar 220 is heavier than the Pulsar 200 by five kg, at 150 kg, it is faster than the smaller sibling at 144 km/hour, as compared to 130 km/hour.

Currently, the company produces three models under the Pulsar brand — Pulsar 150, Pulsar 180 and Pulsar 220. All the three models have only recently gone through a face-lift labelled as the ‘2009 edition’.

Meanwhile, in a bid to increase its market share in the 100 cc category, Bajaj Auto today launched its popular selling model “Discover” in the entry level segment.

Bajaj held a marketshare of 43 per cent in the premium 150 cc segment contributed by sales of its premium bike ‘Pulsar’ and a 9 per cent market share in the entry level segment through “Platina” as of April-June 2009.

With the latest launch, the company hoped to garner a significant market share in the segment this fiscal.

Source: Business Standard

Merchant bankers expect only two PSU public issues

Merchant bankers expect only two PSU public issues

Merchant bankers believe that not more than two public sector IPOs are likely to happen this year, notwithstanding the Finance Minister’s statement indicating that disinvestment is still top on the Government’s agenda.

National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) and Oil India are the two PSU companies which merchant bankers think will hit the markets with their IPOs.

“NHPC and Oil India are the most likely companies to come out with IPOs this year and you might see minority stake sales in PSU banks as well. The Government will divest slowly and there will not be many big bangs IPOs,” said Mr Saurabh Mukherjea, Head of Indian Equities at Noble Group.

NHPC and Oil India will raise close to Rs 3,000 crore through their issues.

The Finance Minister even issued a list of companies proposed for disinvestment. In 2009-10, the Government proposes to disinvest a small portion of equity in Rail India Technical and Economic Services Ltd, Cochin Shipyard, Telecommunications Consultants India Ltd, Manganese Core India Ltd, Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd and Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd.

But investment bankers said they expected disinvestment to happen only in those companies which are more profitable.

The validity periods of the DRHPs filed with SEBI of both NHPC and Oil India expire in September this year, said Mr Jagannadham Thunuguntla, Equity Head at SMC Capitals.

He added that the Government will look at selling its stake in only a few companies, which will also garner most funds rather than sell small stakes in several PSUs.

“The Government may not be as aggressive as the market would wish it to be,” he said.

Revival

Investment bankers said that the signs are pointing towards a revival of the IPO market and that even two PSU divestments would pave the way for this. “PSUs hold the key to the revival of the primary market and the outcome of these IPOs is very critical,” said Mr Thunuguntla.

“Once the Adani Power (private sector) and NHPC IPOs go through we will get a clearer picture of things to come,” said Mr Mukherjea.

Mr Rangari said most PSUs were under-valued and that their IPOs usually enjoy good response from the investors. He said that his company has gota few mandates and has one issue a month lined up for the next four months. They are small issues whose total size is between Rs 100 crore and Rs 150 crore each.