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Realty stocks drive the markets
Thu, 24 Mar 11:30 am

Indian stock market indices traded in the positive during the last two hours of trade led by buying in heavy weights. All the sectors are trading in the green led by realty and consumer goods stocks.

The BSE-Sensex is up by 140 points while NSE-Nifty is trading 38 points above yesterday’s closing. BSE Midcap and BSE Small cap indices are up by 0.8% and 1% respectively. The rupee is trading at 44.73 to the US dollar.

FMCG stocks are trading firm led by Camlin and Henkel. As per a leading financial daily Godrej Consumer Products is looking at a hike in the prices of soaps this April. The hike could be in the range of 4-5%. This is seen as the company's effort to deal with higher cost of raw materials. Vegetable oil has become costlier and as a result of the Middle East crisis, it is expected that freight and fuel costs will also rise. It may be recalled that Godrej had earlier raised prices in September by 5% and then again in January by 3-5%.

The personal care products maker has also hinted at plans to launch its own brand of air fresheners in the new fiscal year along with other new products. The company had acquired Megasari an Indonesian company last year and is expected to roll out the new products from Megasari's portfolio. Earlier, the company had the license of Sara Lee Corp's air freshener brand Ambi Pur which had been sold to Procter and Gamble.

Banking stocks are trading firm led by Karur Vysya Bank and Dena Bank. As per a leading financial daily, Union Bank is expected to get a regulatory approval for setting up a subsidiary in the UK in the next six months. It is also expected to get the go ahead to set up a branch in Australia and Belgium. The PSU bank plans to open a branch in Antwerp (Belgium), Sydney (Australia). At present the state run bank has representative offices in Sydney and London. It also has a full-fledged branch operational in Hong Kong. It may be noted that deposits in the Hong Kong branch have increased from US$ 56.1 m in March 2009 to US$ 82 m in March 2010. The operating profit growth during the same period has been 330%.

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