Indian stock markets started the day on a positive note but slipped below the dotted line in the final hour of the trade. The BSE-Sensex closed with losses of about 36 points or 0.2%, while the NSE-Nifty ended lower by about 6 points or 0.1%. The sectoral indices closed on a mixed note with stocks from the realty and metal spaces being the top losers. However, stocks in the pharma and software space ended the day in the green. Midcap stocks ended the day on a positive note with BSE Mid Cap index up by around 0.2%. However, smallcap stocks witnessed losses with the BSE Small Cap index down by about 0.3%.
Stock markets in other parts of Asia traded mixed with Japan (up 2.7%) and Hong Kong (up 0.8%) leading the gains. However, the stock markets in Singapore (down 0.5%) and Taiwan (down 1.6%) witnessed losses. The rupee was trading at Rs 62.37 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Investment and Finance stocks ended the day on a mixed note with Prime Securities and Bajaj Finance Ltd leading the losses. However, Mahindra Finance and Sundaram Finance witnessed gains. Shriram Transport Finance (STFC) declared its results for the third quarter of the financial year 2013-14 (3QFY14). Higher provisioning costs and higher interest costs marred the profitability of the company. Income from operations grew 22.1% YoY in 3QFY14 with a healthy growth in on-book assets of 22.5% YoY. The net interest margins moved down to 6.8% in 9mFY14 from higher levels of 7.5% in 9mFY13. The other income also disappointed and was seen down by 11.8% YoY. The Gross NPAs inched upwards to 3.6% from 2.9% earlier, while the net NPA ratio increased to 0.8% in 3QFY14 from 0.6% in 3QFY13. The cost-income ratio was at 26% for the third quarter of FY14. The net profits for the quarter declined by 13.5% YoY.
Telecom stocks ended the day on a mixed note with Bharti Airtel and MTNL leading the losses. However, ADC India Communications Ltd and Tata Teleservices were leading the gains. Bharti Airtel has announced its results for the quarter and nine month period ended December 2013 recently. The company's total revenues witnessed a growth of 13.3% YoY. The average revenue per user (ARPU) increased by Rs 9.7 to Rs 195 during the quarter. As per the management, the data customer base in the country has increased by 31.2% to 54.4 million customers and usage per customer gone up by 54.4 %, leading to 97.0 % increase in total data traffic. The domestic revenues witnessed a growth of 10.3% YoY during the quarter while international revenue increased 18.5% YoY. The operating profits for the quarter grew by 22.8% year-on-year, with margin at 32.3% versus 29.8% in 3QFY13. The improvement in margins was led by better operational performance in India. The net profits for the quarter grew by 115.1% YoY.