The Sensex today is up by around 73 points (0.4%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 25 points (0.4%). Mid and small cap stocks are also trading in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.5% each. The rupee is trading at Rs 52.98 to the US dollar.
Engineering stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Alstom Projects and KSB Pumps leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, state-run power equipment manufacturer Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) has been granted 'Maharatna' status by the Government of India. The reasons the company was able to achieve this status is because of consistent high performance and fulfillment of required eligibility criteria. As per the guidelines, a company must have an average turnover of Rs 250 bn and average net profits of over Rs 50 bn during the last three years as well as a net worth of over Rs 150 bn. It is worth noting that the Maharatna status enables a firm to take investment decisions of up to Rs 50 bn without seeking the government's approval. The company has said that the Maharatna status will help it realise its long term objectives and achieve a turnover of Rs 1 trillion by financial year 2016-17 (FY17).
Cement stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Birla Corporation and UltraTech Cement leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, India's largest cement manufacturer UltraTech Cement has initiated talks to acquire an incomplete 6.7 million tonne cement plant in Gujarat that is owned by ABG Cement (ABGCL). It is said that the company has engaged in three rounds of negotiations so far. It must be noted that Axis Capital, the investment banking arm of Axis Bank, is advising UltraTech Cement on the deal. As per the daily, the Aditya Birla Group-owned company has offered about Rs 46.6 bn which values the plant at Rs USD 130 per tonne. However, ABG is said to be demanding Rs 50.08 bn, valuing the plant at USD 156 per tonne. As of June 2012, ABGCL had invested Rs 25.25 bn in the cement plant. The total estimated cost of the project is Rs 30.28 bn. The plant is expected to be operational by the fourth quarter of 2013-14 (4QFY14).