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Indian Stock Market News, Equity Market and Sensex Today in India | Equitymaster
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IT, metal drag markets 
(Thu, 3 Mar 11:30 am) 
 
Indian indices have lost further ground on the back of profit booking in heavy weights during the previous two hours of trade. Stocks from the realty and FMCG space are trading firm, while stocks from the IT and metals space are trading weak.

The BSE-Sensex is down by 157 points while NSE-Nifty is trading 41 points below the dotted line. BSE Midcap index and BSE Small capindex are trading flat. The rupee is trading at 45.06 to the US dollar.

Steel stocks are trading mixed with Ispat and Sesa Goa in the green while SAIL and Tata Steel are facing selling pressure. Tata Steel has increased its stake in Riversdale which is a coal mining company based in Australia. Tata Steel has raised the stake from existing 24% to 27% in this coal miner which has coal mines based in Mozambique, Africa. It has spent A$ 100 m for the transaction. Last month, Brazilian steel maker CSN, another stakeholder in Riversdale had raised its holding in the coal miner to around 20%. For its group company, Corus, Tata Steel has to procure 10 m tonnes of coal annually. This raise in stake by Tata Steel is being seen as a step to increase its bargaining power and ensure coal supplies for Corus. Earlier, Rio Tinto the Australian mining company had extended its US$ 3.9 bn takeover offer of acquiring Riversdale to March 18. Tata Steel is not averse to Rio's bid and clarifies that its holding in Riversdale is not for fiscal incentives but for strategic benefits. As part of Australian regulations, existing shareholders of Riversdale can continue to increase their stake in the company by 3% every 6 months without having to make a full takeover offer.

FMCG stocks are trading firm led by Camlin India and Henkel India. As per a leading financial daily, Chennai Based Henkel India is looking to sell its hair care business. Yesterday, the company had announced that it proposed to dispose its movable assets and other components of the hair care division subject to shareholder's approval. Godrej Consumer Products Limited and Emami have shown interest in acquiring the company's business. Besides these companies it is believed that Marico and P&G are also interested in this deal.

It may be noted that Henkel India is a joint venture between Germany-based Henkel AG and the Chennai-based Tamil Nadu Petroproducts (TPL). Henkel AG holds 50.97% stake in the company, while TPL holds 16.6%. Henkel, which produces personal care, laundry, home care, beauty and industrial products, has been looking to exit non-core areas in an attempt to focus on hair color and industrial applications. Some of its brands are Henko, Neem, Fa, Margo and Schwarzkopf Professional. The current round is the second such by Henkel in the past year. In early 2010, the company had offloaded Aramusk and Moloy soaps, as well as Mahabringol hair oil, to Mumbai-based VVF Ltd, the world's largest contract manufacturer of bar soaps. The deal also saw VVF buy Henkel's manufacturing plant at Tiljala, Kolkata.

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