Stock markets in other parts of Asia ended on a weak note as well, with China and Japan down by about 0.9% and 0.1% respectively. Hong Kong, however ended with gains of about 0.6%. The rupee was trading at Rs 61.35 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Banking stocks ended the day on a weak note with Canara Bank, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank leading the pack of losers. HDFC Bank declared its results for the third quarter (3QFY14) and nine months ended December 2013 today. The bank reported 17% YoY growth in net interest income during 3QFY14 while the net interest margin (NIM) came in at 4.2% as against 4.3% in December 2012. The growth in other income by a robust 31.7% YoY and fall in cost to income ratio from 47.2% in 3QFY13 to 42.7% in 3QFY14 led to a profit growth of 25.1% YoY. This is despite the increase in effective tax rate from 31.5% to 33.5%. The bank's loans and deposits grew by 22.9% YoY each during the nine month period. With CAR of 14.7% the bank stands adequately capitalized.
Auto stocks closed the day on a mixed note with Maruti Suzuki and Ashok Leyland being amongst the least preferred, while Mahindra and Mahindra and Bajaj Auto were amongst the top gainers. As per a leading business daily, Mahindra & Mahindra, India's largest utility vehicle maker is looking to develop a compact sports utility vehicle (SUV). The vehicle would compete with Ford's EcoSport. Mahindra plans to jointly develop its first such project with Ssangyong at its Nashik plant. The new vehicle would be based on Ssangyong's X100 platform and is expected to be launched during first half of 2015. The car specifications would involve a development of 1 litre compact turbocharged petrol engine with variable valve and direct injection in line with that of Ford's Ecoboost engine. The technology is expected to produce power equivalent to that of a much bigger vehicle, but can deliver higher fuel efficiency. The company is of the view that the development and synergy between the partners for developing the vehicle would be a win-win situation for both the companies. Once such area is joint sourcing wherein, they could save as much as 5% to 7% of the material costs. The stock of M&M ended marginally higher by 0.6% today.