GLOBAL MARKETS ROUNDUP * Nifty futures on the Singapore Exchange rise 0.33 percent. The MSCI-Asia Pacific index excluding Japan is up 0.82 percent. * U.S. stocks finished modestly higher on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 up for a fourth session, although volume was one of the year's lowest on the day ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. * Asian shares rose on Thursday as China's manufacturing sector expanded for the first time in 13 months in November, adding to optimism that global growth slowdown may have turned a corner after firm U.S. factory data. INDIAN STOCKS TO WATCH For additional press items double click NOTE: Reuters has not verified third-party stories and does not vouch for their accuracy. TOP NEWS * India is to allow state-run Life Insurance Corp (LIC) to triple the maximum stake it can hold in other companies to 30 percent in a move seen as helping a government sell-off of its own holdings in a range of firms. (Reuters) * The government also said on Wednesday it would kick off sales by offloading a stake in Hindustan Copper on Friday and in miner NMDC Ltd and explorer Oil India before Dec. 20. FINANCIAL/REGULATORY * India's central bank Governor Duvvuri Subbarao went against the suggestion of most external members of an advisory panel to keep the key repo rate steady on Oct. 30, minutes of the quarterly meeting released on Wednesday showed. (Reuters) * Finance Minister P Chidambaram has asked banks to lend a helping hand to builders, particularly those involved in construction of residential properties, in order to revive faltering economic growth. (Economic Times) here * Remittance inflows into India is expected to increase to $70 billion in 2012, according to a World Bank report on global migration and remittances released on Wednesday. (Mint) here ENERGY/COMMODITIES * The oil ministry said the government is not considering any proposal to revise price for natural gas produced from Reliance Industries' KG-D6 block before 2014. (Economic Times) here * Bharat Forge America, the U.S. subsidiary of Bharat Forge is in the final stage of either shutting down the operations or an imminent sale, The Financial Express reported, citing media reports from Michigan. (Financial Express) here * Reliance Infrastructure, Tata Power and Crompton Greaves have placed bids to partner with state-run NTPC in its foray into electricity distribution, a senior official at NTPC said. (Economic Times) here * The government will initiate action against nine companies that have been booked by the Central Bureau of Investigation for misrepresentation of facts to win coal mining licences, a senior ministry official said. (Economic Times) here INFRASTRUCTURE/INDUSTRIAL * GMR Infrastructure is in talks with some large companies to sell 51-74 percent stake in three operating toll road projects as part of its plan to unlock value and lower its debt, according to a senior company official close to the development. (Financial Chronicle) here * DuPont, the diversified US industrial group, is hoping to be a billion-dollar company by sales in India by the end of 2012, said Rajeev Vaidya, president of Dupon'ts South Asia operations. (Mint) here PHARMA * A panel of ministers is understood to have finalized a fresh pricing mechanism, which will lead to a sharper reduction in drug prices, unnamed sources told Times of India. Sources said that the new formula will take into account "the simple average method" for determining the ceiling price of all the molecules for drugs under a particular area versus the "weighted average" method cleared in September by a panel. (Times of India) here * Cipla appointed Subhanu Saxena as Chief Executive Officer. Saxena has been with Novartis AG, where he led the Global Product Strategy and Commercialization function, a position he has held for three years. (Reuters) TELECOMS * The government will shortly clear a three-way partnership between Russia's NIS Glonass, BSNL and MTNL to deliver satellite-based navigation services in India, top officials in the telecom department told The Economic Times. (Economic Times) here RETAIL * The government, while clearing Swedish furniture and IKEA's application to set up shop in India, has disallowed it from selling food in its planned stores and offering financing to suppliers and customers. (Economic Times) here AIRLINES * SpiceJet said it would issue convertible warrants to its promoter, which could fetch the budget airline nearly 2 billion rupees at the current price. (Economic Times) here PROPERTY * Nitesh Estates Ltd is in advanced talks with private equity firms to raise 4 billion rupees for a clutch of residential projects-the real estate firm's first big fund-raising since it listed its shares on the bourses two years ago, chairman Nitesh Shetty said in an interview.(Mint) here NOTE: Reuters has not verified third-party stories and does not vouch for their accuracy. OTHER FACTORS TO WATCH * Indian debt/FX factors to watch * Euro supported by Greece aid hopes, yen gains * Oil ends up as pre-holiday covering offsets Gaza truce * Foreign institutional investor flows * For closing rates of Indian ADRs (Compiled by Manoj Rawal; Editing by Rafael Nam)
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