Indices in the Indian equity market failed to make any headway towards the breakeven line during the closing stages. Consequently, they closed the day in the red on yet another occasion. The BSE-Sensex edged lower by around 90 points today (down 0.5%) while the NSE-Nifty lost in the region of 30 points. BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices suffered more and were down 0.7% and 1% respectively. Nearly three stocks fell for every two that closed in the positive on the Sensex.
While most Asian indices closed in the red today, Europe is trading mixed currently. The rupee was trading at Rs 53.2 to the dollar at the time of writing.
The indices have been somewhat sluggish after breaching the 20k mark on the Sensex some time back. Trading at a multiple of close to 18x, the markets are not very attractive but aren't that expensive either. However, it will be fair to say that the easy money has already been made and it will come down to astute stock selection from here on. Plus there's this whole uncertainty of how the forthcoming Union Budget will pan out. Thus, investors seem to be biding their time we believe and will only take a plunge once some clarity emerges.
Exide Industries, India's largest automotive battery manufacturer, closed marginally strong on the bourses today. The optimism seemed a result of an agreement that the company entered into with Shin-Kobe Electric Machinery Company of Japan for an additional technical license and assistance. Under the agreement, Exide will be able to access the technology of shin-kobe and will also receive extensive technical assistance and support that will help it manufacture quality automotive batteries in its various plants in India. Not only this, the new technology could also help Exide cut costs in production. Shin-Kobe Electric Machinery Company manufactures automotive and industrial batteries and part of the renowned Hitachi Group.
MNC drug maker GlaxoSmithkline Plc has increased stake in its listed Indian subsidiary GSK Consumer Healthcare from 43.2% to 72.5% at the end of the recently concluded open offer. During the offer period, shareholders of the listed Indian entity tendered about 12.3 m shares, amounting to 29.3% of the total shares outstanding of the company. The offer of Rs 3,900 per share valued the transaction at around Rs 48 bn. The final payment is likely to be concluded on or before February 13, 2013. GSK Consumer Healthcare sells some very popular brands in India such as health drink Horlicks and malt-based drink Boost. It also markets OTC (over-the-counter) drugs such as paracetamol tablet Crocin, painkiller gel Iodex and acidity reliever Eno. The stock closed lower by 2% on the bourses today.