Indian share markets slipped into the red in the post-noon trading session as selling activity intensified across index heavyweights. Barring stocks from the IT and auto sector, all the sectoral indices are trading in the negative territory with realty, consumer durables and capital goods stocks leading the pack of losers.
Banking stocks are trading mixed, with Allahabad Bank and Canara Bank being among the top losers while Central Bank and State Bank of India (SBI) are among the leading gainers. As per the financial daily, SBI will be raising Rs 30 bn via preference issue. The allotment of shares will be made to Government of India. As per the meeting on Saturday 23rd Feb, the Executive committee of the central board (ECCB) decided to raise the issue at a price of Rs 2,312.7 per share. Reportedly, the price was fixed based on February 15, 2013 as the 'relevant date'. The selected price was a fine balance between the closing price of the stock on Friday and the 52-week high it had touched barely a month back. The raised amount will be utilized to support national and international banking operations. The raised amount is part of Rs 120 bn infusion plan approved by the Finance Ministry some time back. The stock was trading up by 0.6%.
Majority of the automobile stocks are trading in the red with Escorts and Eicher Motors being the major losers. As per a leading financial daily, Tata Motors, which has been battling falling profits, is contemplating hauling up its utility vehicle segment. The sales of the company's portfolio of utility vehicles comprising of the Sumo, Safari, Aria and Venture range fell by 3% to 41,166 units during the period April-January 2013. New launches such as Renault Duster and Mahindra XUV500 have hit sales of Tata Motors. The company is now considering tapping into the group luxury brand, Jaguar Land Rover to introduce new products in the high-volume sub-Rs 12 lakh segment. Tata Motors is also eyeing the new sub four meter, entry level Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) that has attracted companies like Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Toyota and General Motors. A sub-four meter vehicle gets a 50% reduction in excise duty enabling companies to price them competitively. Tata Motors, recently, launched a new variant Storme which is an upgraded version of its longest-running SUV Safari. The stock is currently up by 1.7%.