With selling activity picking up great speed towards the end of the session, indices in the Indian stock markets closed the day deep in the red. Sensex lost to the tune of 405 points (down 2.3%) whereas NSE-Nifty edged lower by 137 points. BSE Mid cap and BSE Small cap indices closed lower by 2.3% and 1.7% respectively. Almost all the stocks on the BSE-Sensex closed the day in the red.
Asian markets closed mixed today but Europe is trading deep in the red currently. The rupee was trading at Rs 51.1 to the dollar at the time of writing.
While India was not the sole loser in Asia, the fact that it was the biggest, does indicate that there were some country specific reasons as well behind the decline. None more so than the report of yet another charge of scam against the ruling Government. The report has alleged massive loss to the Government exchequer on account of large number of coal blocks being sold without auctions of any kind. Although the charges are yet to be proved, it did cause damage to stock markets that were already reeling under a below par budget and GDP growth concerns.
Ultra Tech Cement, one of India's largest cement companies, is believed to be in talks with a north-eastern cement maker Adhunik MSP for a buyout of the latter's 1.5 m tonne cement capacity. The deal consideration doing the rounds is of the order of Rs 7 bn. The acquisition will give Ultra Tech Cement a foothold in the fast growing but largely untapped market in the North-East. It is worth noting that the North East region is witnessing buoyant cement demand on account of a large number of hydroelectric projects being commissioned there and also the road constructions. Thus, the acquisition makes perfect sense for someone like Ultra Tech cement who hardly has a presence in the region. Ultra Tech stock closed lower by 2% today.
L&T construction, the subsidiary of engineering behemoth Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has bagged new orders to the tune of Rs 11.2 bn across various business segments in the month of March 2012. While two orders of the size of Rs 5.5 bn and 1.6 bn have come from places like Abu Dhabi and Oman, orders to the tune of Rs 4 bn have come from various other customers. It should be noted that at the end of 3QFY12, the company had a total order book of the order of Rs 1.5 trillion and the same will be augmented further with the recent order wins. The stock closed with a decline in the region of 4% today.