The Indian stock markets started the day below par. Indices moved steadily lower throughout the trading session. Global cues were negative on concerns that the Fed would prematurely end its bond purchase program. In the final hour of trade, indices continued their bloodshed. The BSE-Sensex closed negative, lower by around 317 points (1.6%). The NSE-Nifty closed lower by around 91 points (1.5%). The smaller indices also had a negative day on the bourses. The BSE Mid Cap index closed 1.6% lower and the BSE Mid Cap index closed 1.7% lower. Only consumer durables stocks closed higher. metal and banking stocks led the losses.
As regards global markets, Asian indices had a negative outing today. European indices also opened the day on a negative note. The rupee was trading at Rs 54.78 to the dollar at the time of writing.
On the back of a big airfare sale for the next few days by major carriers, came another big announcement in India's aviation space. The Malaysian airline AirAsia, Asia's biggest budget carrier, will invest between US$ 30-60 m into its new airline venture in India. The company has sought approval to establish a new airline with unlisted firms Tata Sons Ltd and Telestra Tradeplace Pvt Ltd. AirAsia, intends to own a 49% stake of the venture with the remaining stake held by the two Indian firms. The venture plans to operate from Chennai in southern India and provide domestic flight options.
US private equity (PE) firm TPG Capital, which owned around 20% of Shriram Transport Finance, has raised US$ 305 m by selling about half of its stake in the commercial vehicle financier. The PE firm sold the shares at Rs 715 each to a large number of overseas and domestic institutional investors. The share sale was launched late on Wednesday in the price range of Rs 715 to Rs 755.95 per share. On account of heavy selling in the stock, the share price of Shriram Transport closed down over 7.7% in trade today.
Engineering company ABB posted a massive 73.8% year-on-year decline in December quarter profit to Rs 16.8 crore. Standalone net sales were down by 5.4% during the quarter. Other income also fell sharply. The company's products businesses delivered improved profitability. However, project businesses faced several challenges due to anticipated cost overrun mainly caused by project delays on account of external factors. The company also fared badly on operating parameters. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) slipped 14.4% YoY in the quarter ending December 2012 and margins also dipped on delays in receipt of payments due to tight liquidity conditions, forex volatility and lower price realizations. Revenues from its power systems, power products, process automation and discrete automation & motion segments declined. Revenues from low voltage products division increased during the quarter. The company received orders worth Rs 69.7 bn in 2012, down 15% compared to Rs 81.9 bn in the previous year.