Indian equity markets traded in the positive throughout the trading session today. However, while the indices began the day's proceedings on a firm note, profit booking at higher levels in the subsequent hours led to some shedding of gains. Despite this, positive momentum was maintained and the indices closed well above the dotted line in the final trading hour. While the Sensex today closed higher by 75 points, the NSE-Nifty today closed higher by 25 points. The BSE Mid Cap and the BSE Small Cap were, however, not spared as both closed marginally lower. With the government allowing oil companies to hike diesel prices, oil and gas stocks were the major gainers in today's session.
As regards global markets, most Asian indices closed firm today while European indices have opened mixed. The rupee was trading at Rs 53.91 to the dollar at the time of writing.
As per a leading business daily, Hindalco has finalized arrangement for acquiring the alumina refinery and bauxite mines in Brazil from its wholly owned subsidiary Novelis. At present, this refinery is inoperative but has a capacity of 145 KTPA. It has mining rights of over 50 million tonnes (MT) of bauxite reserves. As per the terms of the deal, the alumina assets of Novelis will be transferred to a new company to be formed in Brazil. And the shares of this company will be acquired by AV Minerals, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hindalco. The acquisition will take place after all necessary approvals and permits for restarting the idle facilities and operations of the company are obtained in Brazil. The new company will solely focus on the mining and alumina business, while Novelis will concentrate on its core downstream aluminium rolling business. This entire move is part of Hindalco's corporate restructuring plan. The stock closed marginally higher today.
Most auto ancillary stocks closed in the red today with the key losers being Exide Industries and Bharat Forge. Exide Industries announced its results for the third quarter ended December 2012. During 3QFY13, the company's sales grew by 17% YoY largely led by the healthy growth in the replacement segment. Demand from the original equipment (OEM) segment, however, remained subdued. Operating margins during the quarter shrunk by 1.7% to 11.3% on account of rise in raw material costs from 66.7% of sales in 3QFY12 to 67.2% in 3QFY13. This was attributed to continuous rise in lead prices, while depreciation of the rupee also played a part. Led by the tepid 1% YoY growth in operating profits, growth in net profits was flat.