Indian stock markets traded in the positive over last two hours of trade on buying in index heavyweights. Barring power and realty stocks, all sectoral indices were in the green.
The BSE-Sensex is trading up by 104 points and NSE-Nifty is trading up by 30 points. However, BSE Mid cap and BSE Small cap indices are trading strong by 0.5% and 0.6% respectively. The rupee is trading at 48.92 to the US dollar.
Oil & Gas stocks are trading strong led Cairn India and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL). As per a leading daily, the Government of India is looking at auctioning 5% stake in Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. (ONGC) to raise Rs 120 bn. The government owns 74.14% stake in ONGC. After the selling of 5% stake, the holding would be reduced to 69.14%. A group of ministers is expected to meet by the end of February to discuss this and take a final decision. It may be noted here that in November last year, the proposal to sell 5% stake in ONGC was deferred. Last week, Securities and Exchange Board of India made announcements regarding sale of shares through auctions to institutional investors. The proposal is thus being considered again.
Steel stocks are trading mixed. Jindal steel and Bhushan steel are the biggest gainers while JSW Steel and JSW Ispat are the biggest losers. Maharashtra Seamless Limited has announced results for the quarter ended December 2011. The company has reported an increase of 52% YoY in sales and 7% YoY in net profits for the quarter ended December 2011. Both operating profits and operating margins declined by 1.7% YoY and 9.1% YoY respectively. For the nine months ended December 2011, net sales grew by 36.6% YoY and net profits declined by 8.7% YoY. The increase in topline was attributed to strong volume growth in steel pipes and tube division, while net profits increased due to lower taxes.