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Markets Open Flat Ahead of Budget
Mon, 29 Feb 09:30 am

Major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note. The stock markets in China are trading down by 3.4%. Whereas, stock markets in Japan and Singapore are trading up by 0.7% and 0.3% respectively. Major indices in Europe ended their previous session on an encouraging note. However, benchmark indices in US ended their previous session in red. The rupee is trading at 68.77 per US$.

Indian stock markets have opened the day on a flattish note. The BSE Sensex is trading lower by 36 points (down 0.1%) and NSE Nifty is trading lower by 2 points (down 0.03%). Both, BSE MidCap and BSE SmallCap are trading lower by 0.1% and 0.04% respectively. Major sectoral indices have opened the day on a mixed note with stocks from automobile and FMCG sectors witnessing the maximum brunt. However, stocks in banking and metal sector are trading in green.

As per an article in leading financial daily, UltraTech cement has agreed to buy Jaiprakash Associates Ltd's cement plants in six states. The deal is pegged at an enterprise value of Rs 165 billion.

Jaiprakash has a total capacity of 22.4 million tonnes in the state of Madhya Pradesh (MP), Uttar Pradesh (UP), Himachal Pradesh (HP), Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh (AP) and Karnataka. This acquisition will enable UltraTech to access the newer markets of MP, UP, HP and coastal AP wherein the company does not have any presence. Further, the purchase will also enable the company to increase UltraTech cements capacity to 90.7 million tonnes.

Reportedly, the announcement comes just two days after UltraTech called off a deal with Jaiprakash Associates to buy its cement plant in Madhya Pradesh, citing regulatory issues. However, the larger deal for which UltraTech has entered into an accord on Sunday, includes the assets in the state of Madhya Pradesh.

In another news update, light commercial vehicles (LCV) marked growth for the fourth consecutive month after consistently reporting declines for three years in a row. Domestic sales of LCVs grew at an average of 5% in the last four months. Reportedly, high replacement demand, hefty discounts, steady fuel prices are driving the demand for LCVs. Further, truck aggregators such as The Porter, Turant Delivery, Smart Shiftetc, most of whom are start-ups are also likely to push the demand for LCVs.

Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) was the biggest gainer of the demand revival. In January, M&M reported a jump of 10% YoY in sales for load-carrying mini trucks. While, Tata motors too reported an increase of 9% YoY in the sale of LCVs during the same period.

Union Budget for 2016-17 will be tabled in the parliament today. You can read about the key takeaways and some important updates in our today's 5 Minute WrapUp. Stay tuned.

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