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India to Pressure Foriegn Competition

Latest initiative could expel foreign majors Shell and Essar from the Indian market...

India's largest oil marketing firm, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), is investing $309.8 million in retail initiatives to regain lost market share and create entry barriers for new entrants in fuel retailing.

"We are investing to develop IOC as a brand and expand our retail network to remain a dominant player even after Reliance Industries, Essar Oil, and Royal Dutch/Shell set up shop," IOC marketing director N G Kannan said.

IOC's retail strategy envisions occupying every visible fuel sale point in the country by setting up 1000 petrol stations by March 31 and aggressive marketing to capture 51 per cent of the US $15 billion a year petro fuel market.