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Markets open flat with positive bias
Wed, 16 Feb 09:30 am

Asian markets have started the day on a mixed note. Currently Hong Kong (up 0.7%) and Japan (up 0.4%) are leading the pack of gainers. However, Indonesia (down 0.1%) and Malaysia (down 0.1%) are the major losers. Indian markets have started the day with marginal gains. Stocks from the metal and capital goods space are leading the gains, while realty stocks are trading weak.

The BSE-Sensex is up by 34 points while NSE-Nifty is trading 5 points above the dotted line. While the BSE Midcap index is up by 0.36%, the BSE Small cap index is trading 0.52% above yesterday's closing. The rupee is trading at 45.46 to the US dollar.

Steel stocks are trading firm with Tata Steel, Jindal Steel and JSW Steel currently leading the pack of gainers. Steel major, Tata Steel has declared its 3QFY11 results recently. The company has reported a growth of 10% YoY in its top line. This was on the back of an excellent performance from the Indian operations, which in turn was driven by an improved performance mix and efficiency enhancement measures adopted by the company. The company has adopted special programmes to reduce costs and to improve production though de-bottlenecking. However, higher raw material costs brought down the operating margins of the company to 10.4% as against the 10.8% seen during the same period last year. Net profits soared by 112% YoY during the quarter. This was on account of write back of restructuring costs of Rs 1,223 m during the quarter as against an expense of Rs 1,957 m seen during the same period last year. Steel prices have been soaring upwards in recent times and this has aided the company's performance. The company has raised Rs 34 bn through a follow-on-public (FPO) offer. Of this amount, Rs 18.7 bn would be used to fund the plant capacity increase at Jamshedpur.

GSK Pharma has announced its CY10 results recently. The company has reported 13% YoY growth in sale. This was attributed to the strong growth reported by mass markets, mass specialties and specialties businesses. What also led to the growth in sales was the company's focus on launching branded generics, increasing the extension of rural coverage and focused efforts in the hospital segment. Operating margins improved marginally by 0.2% during the year due to lower raw material costs (as a percentage of sales). PBT grew by 14% YoY during the year in tandem with the growth in operating profits. In comparison, growth in net profits came in a tad lower at 10% YoY due to extraordinary expenses this year.

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