Poor Index of Industrial Production (IIP) data, was announced today with output contracting by 0.4% in September 2012. This was versus a 2.5% growth in September last year. Things are clearly moving from bad to worse and steps need to be taken to correct the course of the economy. The benchmark indices however did not react very badly to the news. The Indian stock markets closed pretty much flat today. Sectoral indices mainly in the metals and capital goods space ended lower. Consumer durables and banking stocks managed to see some gains. While the Sensex today ended lower by around 13 points, loses on the NSE-Nifty came in at 3 points. The smaller indices were slightly better off. The BSE Mid Cap closed 0.3% higher while the BSE Small Cap closed 0.2% higher.
Other major Asian indices closed mixed whereas Europe is also trading mixed currently. The rupee was trading at Rs 55.01 to the dollar at the time of writing.
The 2G spectrum auction kicked off today, but it was met with a poor reception with no bidders in many key circles including Delhi, Mumbai and Rajasthan at the end of the first initial rounds of bidding. Five telecom operators including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Telewings (Telenor promoted), Videocon and Idea Cellular had applied to participate for the auction. According to newspaper reports it is expected that the most aggressive bidding will come for circles like UP (East) and UP (West). The government had expected to raise around Rs 300 bn through two areas: the auction of spectrum in 11 blocks having 1.25 Mhz in all the circles, except in Delhi and Mumbai where there are only 8 blocks. And two through one time spectrum charge fee. The government has not indicated what it would do with the circles with unsold spectrum post auction. By the looks of it now, it doesn't seem that the government will be able to reap meet its allotment targets.
Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) has secured 10,000 units booking of its compact utility vehicle Quanto. The company plans to ramp up capacity at its Nashik Plant. M&M also saw phenomenal success with its XUV 5OO vehicle. In order to meet the rising demand, it plans to ramp up its capacity for the Quanto from 2,500 units to 3,500 units per month from January of 2013 at its Nashik plant. Quanto is the first compact SUV from the M&M's stable and is priced at Rs 5.82 lakh to 7.36 lakhs and is aimed at prospective premium hatchback buyers. M&M has grown by over 15-20% since April to October 2012 with sales of close to 1,58,000 units and it has again overtaken Tata Motors as the 3rd largest automobile maker in the country.