Rolling Stone, which will make its historic move to a smaller trim size on October 30, has made a bit of history with its final oversized issue, too.Some 1.3 million copies of the October 16 issue were sent to subscribers wrapped in a faux cover promoting Life on Mars, the new ABC-TV series, recreating a 1973 Rolling Stone cover.Last month, Wenner Media announced that after months of market-testing, Rolling Stone would indeed switch from its large-size format (10 by 11 and ¾ inches) to a more “rack-friendly” size typically found on the newsstand, moving from saddle-stitching to perfect-bound format. In doing so, the magazine plans to upgrade its paper stock and add 16 to 20 pages per issue.While rare, this is not the first time Rolling Stone has sold a cover wrap to an advertiser. Meanwhile, the magazine has rolled out its own trade ad campaign, both online and in print, touting a “remastered” Rolling Stone with its October 30 relaunch.Wenner hopes the changes—which include glossier paper—will boost single copy sales and lure new advertisers. During the first half of the year, ad pages were down 33 percent over the same period in 2007. Single copy sales, meanwhile, were down 6.6 percent during the same period. Rolling Stone’s overall circulation remained relatively flat.
Shares in Titan Co Ltd(TITN.NS) surged on Thursday after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) eased gold import rules by allowing seven more private agencies to ship the precious metal. The stock was trading up 10.2 percent as of 9:25 a.m.The move by the RBI, announced late on Wednesday, could augment supplies of gold, according to analysts.Among other jewellery companies Gitanjali Gems (GTGM.NS) gained 13.5 percent, Rajesh Exports Ltd (REXP.NS) rose 12.73 percent.Meanwhile, Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri Ltd (TBZL.NS) jumped 20 percent and Shree Ganesh Jewellery House (SHRG.NS) rose 5 percent.India’s gold demand is likely to pick up in the second half of the year as curbs on bullion imports are expected to be eased by the country’s new government, the World Gold Council (WGC) and other industry officials said on Tuesday.Gold imports by India, the world’s No. 2 bullion consumer after China, could double from current levels if the restrictions are eased, according to an industry estimate. This would help global prices that slumped 28 percent last year – the first drop in 13 years – partly due to India’s curbs.Struggling with a ballooning trade deficit, India in 2013 imposed a record high duty of 10 percent on overseas purchases of gold, the second-biggest expense in its import bill, and introduced a rule tying import quantities to export levels.”The change (in gold policy) is inevitable because Modi seems to be pro-gold,” said Albert Cheng, WGC’s head of the far east region, referring to Narendra Modi who romped to a landslide victory in the recently concluded general elections in India. “It’s just a matter of when he is going to do it.”Modi, who leads the pro-business Bharatiya Janata Party, has said any action on gold should take into account the interests of the public and traders, not just economics and policy.Indian gold imports plunged by a fifth last year though jewellery and investment demand rose 13 percent. The gap between supply and demand have sent premiums in the country to $100 an ounce above the global benchmark, causing a spurt in smuggling.Gold demand in India fell by a fourth to 190.3 tonnes in the quarter to March due to the curbs, WGC said in its quarterly report, which also noted that demand in top buyer China fell from the previous year’s record levels.Sudheesh Nambiath, an analyst with metals consultancy GFMS, said there is likely to be an early review to the current policies on gold with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leading in the centre. GFMS is owned by Thomson Reuters.”Our current expectation is that any policy review would allow monthly gold imports of an average of 50-60 tonnes a month and a reduction in import duty as well,” said Nambiath, who was part of a four-member delegation to detail the current policies on gold to Modi in September.This would address industry concerns while also keeping the trade deficit in check, he said.Imports have been running at an average of 24.69 tonnes since July 2013, compared with an average of 78 tonnes before the then government started making adjustments, Nambiath said.Somasundaram PR, WGC’s head of Indian operations, reiterated the industry body’s forecast for India’s full-year gold demand, shrugging off the sharp drop in demand in the first quarter.”We continue to hold 900-1,000 tonnes (of annual demand in India) as it is expected to pick up in the second half,” Somasundaram said.TIMING OF CHANGEWhile industry analysts are confident about Modi’s stance on gold, they are unsure how soon he will relax the rules.”We feel that removal of gold policy curbs won’t happen in a hurry, and it will take another two months for further action,” said Prithviraj Kothari, a director at India Bullion and Jewellers Association (IBJA).Two months would put it around the same time India’s full-year budget is due.BJP leaders told the industry body in February that if the party came to power, it would review the gold policies in the first three months in power, another IBJA official had earlier told Reuters.India’s trade deficit has been falling in recent months, largely due to the drop in gold imports, and any step to ease the rules would be taken cautiously, some analysts have said.”A possible rollback of the duty on bullion imports may not occur overnight, should it occur at all, but would more likely happen later this year,” HSBC analysts said this month.”An easing of the tariffs may provide a boost in demand for gold in India and would be price supportive, but we believe this would be a medium to longer-term scenario,” they said.
Coal stocks in India stood at 31.39 million tonnes as of July 19, sufficient to operate power plants for 23 days as against the normal requirement of 21 days, according to a government statement.However, the coal stock position is on a decline since March this year, when the stocks hit 38.87 million tonnes, a four-year high. The stocks have been falling consistently to 35.92 million tonnes in April and further to 32.65 million tonnes next month. In June, the stocks stood at 30.51 million tonnes.The details were given in a written reply by Piyush Goyal, Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines, to a question in the Rajya Sabha on Monday.The minister also informed that state-run miner Coal India Limited (CIL) has set a production target of 598.61 million tonnes for the current financial year, marking an increase of 11 percent over actual coal production of 538.75 million tonnes last year.Higher coal output by CIL last year saw India’s coal import bill decrease by Rs. 28,000 crore last financial year.”Record coal production by CIL leads to a reduction in import by 34.26 million tonnes (MT). Results in a saving of Rs. 28,070 crore in foreign exchange during 2015-16,” Coal Secretary Anil Swarup had tweeted in April.”Coal imports came down by 27.4 percent from 27.4 MT during 2014-15 to 15.54 MT in 2015-16,” he said in another tweet. CIL meets about 81 percent of India’s coal requirement from its 430 mines, of which 227 are underground, 175 open-cast and 28 mixed ones. It has eight subsidiaries.India’s coal reserves were estimated at about 301.56 billion tonnes by the Geological Survey of India in April 2014. The reserves were predominantly in Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Maharashtra, CIL declared in its annual report for the year 2014-2015.Coal-based electricity generation accounted for almost 85 percent of the total electricity produced in India during the April to February period in financial year 2015-2016, according a report by the Central Electricity Authority.CIL shares closed at Rs. 332.40 apiece on the BSE on Monday, up 0.57 percent from their previous close.