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Metal Stocks Under Pressure
Wed, 24 Feb 01:30 pm

Following a negative trend since the opening of the trading day, the Indian indices continued to remain under pressure in the post noon trading session. Barring oil & gas, major sectoral indices are trading on a negative note with stocks from the metal and pharmaceutical sectors bearing the maximum brunt.

The BSE Sensex is trading lower by 126 (down 0.5%) and the NSE Nifty is trading lower by 31 points (down 0.4%). The BSE Mid Cap and the BSE Small Cap indices are also trading lower by 0.2% and 0.6% respectively. Gold prices, per 10 grams, are trading at Rs 29,269 levels. Silver price, per kilogram, is trading at Rs 37,030 levels. Crude oil is trading at Rs 2,165 per barrel. The rupee is trading at 68.56 to the US$.

As per an article in leading financial daily, government received an enthusiastic response from institutional investors in relation to its offer for sale in state run power producer National Thermal Power Corporation. Reportedly, the 330 million share offering, excluding the 20% retail quota, received 596 million bids. Nearly a fourth of the bids came from insurance companies, mainly Life Insurance Corporation (LIC). The bid for retail investors has commenced today and will close today itself. Retail investors will be provided a 5% discount from the floor price. Should you subscribe to the offer? Read on to find out (subscription required).

The floor price was pegged at Rs 122. Most of the bids came in at around Rs 122.2 per share as compared to the floor price of Rs 122.

Further, the government is currently working on a policy to sell strategic stake in both money-losing as well as profitable public sector units. The policy is expected to be announced in the Union budget to be presented on 29 February.

NTPC will be the sixth divestment by the government in this fiscal. The government had set a divestment target at approx. Rs 695 billion for the current fiscal. However, till date the government has been able to raise approx. Rs 135 billion through the divestment route. The stock is trading down by 2.2%.

As per a leading financial daily, Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) has maintained its leadership position in the domestic passenger vehicle market for the month of January. This comes as six of the company's models featured in the top 10 brands in January.

As per the latest data from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), in the top 10 best passenger vehicles, Maruti's Alto retained the top position last month. The model clocked sales of 21,462 units during the last month, as against 22,889 units in January 2015. The company's premium hatchback Swift was the second best-selling model with sales of 14,057 units. Compact sedan DZire was third, selling 14,042 units, while the company's compact hatchback Wagon R stood fourth with 12,744 units. Maruti's premium hatchback Baleno made it to the eight rank with sale of 7,698 units.

This depicts that the Indian car market has been slowly limping back to recovery although some segments of the industry remain weak. But volumes will likely jump up once the Indian economy starts growing at a faster pace.

Maruti Suzuki is India's largest passenger car company. The company offers full range of cars from entry level Maruti 800 & Alto to stylish hatchback Ritz, A-star, Swift, Wagon R, Estillo and sedans DZire, SX4 and Sports Utility vehicle Grand Vitara. In its results for the third quarter ended December 2015, the company reported a 20% YoY and 27% YoY growth in sales and net profits, respectively. Here is our analysis of the results (subscription required).

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