Carrying on with the strong comeback seen at the end of last week's session, the Indian indices went from strength to strength since the start of the trade today. Relatively attractive valuations post correction in Indian markets seems to have attracted investors to strong counters. The BSE-Sensex edged higher by around 473 points today whereas the NSE-Nifty closed with gains of around 146 points (up 2.8%). BSE Midcap and BSE Small cap indices also joined in the buoyant mood, closing with gains of around 4% each. Stocks from the engineering and capital goods sectors led the pack of gainers.
While most Asian markets closed higher today, markets in Europe are mostly in the red currently. The rupee was trading at Rs 45.47 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Engineering and construction major L&T has bagged a Rs 11 bn order from the Gujarat State Electricity Corporation for setting up a 375 MW gas-based power plant in the state. The project will be executed by the gas-based power projects business units L&T and will be commissioned during the next five-year plan. The company's engineering and construction division recoded growth of 42% YoY in 3QFY11 mainly because of the power orders that started contributing to the revenues in a significant manner. The stock ended 7% higher today.
Costs of raising incremental funds are expected to take a toll on the financial sector's margins in the near term. Meanwhile Indian banks are turning to low-cost deposits, refinancing debt and cheaper foreign capital to protect margins squeezed by higher interest rates in domestic markets. While loan growth continues to remain stronger than the RBI's target for the fiscal, banks have to look for a larger proportion of CASA by expanding their retail franchise. This may also impact their cost to income ratios in FY12.
Piramal Healthcare had announced its 3QFY11 results. Both the company's topline and bottomline declined by 56% YoY each during the quarter largely due to the absence of sales from the domestic formulations business this quarter. It must be noted that the company had sold its domestic formulations business this fiscal to Abbott Laboratories for a consideration of US$ 3.72 bn. Due to a substantial rise in expenses, the company reported a loss at the operating profit level to the tune of Rs 326 m. There was a rise in other income due to interest received on the proceeds that were invested. Piramal's management expects the buyback programme to get completed during this fiscal. The company is still evaluating various opportunities in which to deploy this cash and a clearer picture with respect to the same is expected to emerge in April.