Indian stock markets continued to trade above the dotted line over last two hours of trade on buying witnessed in index heavyweights. All sectoral indices were trading in the green except IT and Auto stocks.
The BSE-Sensex is trading up by 110 points and NSE-Nifty is trading up by 38 points. BSE Mid cap and BSE Small cap indices are trading strong by 0.7% and 1.1% respectively. The rupee is trading at 49.15 to the US dollar.
Engineering stocks are trading mixed with Voltas and EMCO leading the gainers and Carborundum Universal and AIA Engineering trading the weakest. As per a leading financial daily, there is a likelihood of domestic power equipment manufacturers like Bharat Heavy Industries Limited (BHEL), Larsen and Toubro (L&T) and Bharat Forge getting a major boost if Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approves imposition of 19% import duty for Power generation equipment for projects above 1,000 MW (mega watts). CCEA will be taking a call on the issue in the next 15 days. However, the approval will not be in favor of power producers like Reliance Power that relies heavily on imported equipment. Currently, while power generation equipment for projects below 1,000 MW bear a duty of 5%, there is almost nil duty on equipment for projects above 1,000 MW. Since foreign machines are usually cheaper by upto 14%, this places domestic equipment manufacturers at a disadvantage and has been a huge impediment to their capex plans.
Retail stocks are mainly trading in the green led by Koutons Retail and Bata India. According to a leading financial daily, Raheja Group retail firm Shoppers Stop Ltd (SSL)is changing the business model of its hypermarket format store Hypercity, as the latter is taking more time to break-even. SSL has said that Hypercity will increase focus on high margin-yielding apparels by increasing its share from around 8% at present to 14% of the total retail items. The company plans to reduce the share of food and grocery items that account for a bulk of the hypermarket's retail items at present. Additionally, SSL will bring in consignment-based model where the suppliers are paid only after the completion of sales. SSL has been been steadily reducing the proportion of bought out goods and raising share of non-bought goods that are on a consignment basis. SSL is also considering renting out retail space to other manufacturers in exchange for rent or share of revenue