As buying sentiment remained strong in the index heavyweights, Indian share markets continued to trade firmly above the dotted line in the post-noon trading session. Majority of the sectoral indices are trading in the green with realty, oil and gas and Power stocks being the biggest gainers. Only IT and FMCG stocks are trading in the red.
Most of the food & tobacco stocks are trading in the green, with Sterling Biotech and Ruchi Soya Industries being the biggest gainers. However, Golden Tobacco and VST Industries are among the major losers. As per a leading financial daily, Nestle India is set to witness an increase in its royalty payment to parent firm. The company's board approved an increase in royalty rate from 3.5% to 4.5% of sales. However to reduce impact, the increase will be implemented in a staggered manner with a 0.2% increase per year, starting January 1 2014, over the next five years. Nestle stock is currently down 1.2%.In January, FMCG behemoth Hindustan Unilever (HUL) announced hike in the royalty cost from 1.4% to 3.2% of turnover in a phased manner by FY18.
Automobile stocks are trading mixed with Tube Investments and Maruti Suzuki leading in gains and TVS Motors and Force Motors being the biggest losers. As per a leading financial daily, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) has overtaken Ashok Leyland in commercial vehicle sales and reached the second position after Tata Motors. M&M was able to outperform due to a smart uptick in the pick-up range in both load and passenger carriers at the expense of sales in the medium and heavy commercial vehicle (M&HCV) range. The latter has witnessed a sharp fall in offtake due to economic slowdown. As per Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) data for the period April-February 2013, M&M sold 167,588 units of commercial vehicles whereas Ashok Leyland's offtake reached 100,592 units in the same period. However, both the companies are focusing on expanding and enhancing their M&HCV range. M&M stock is down 0.5% whereas Ashok Leyland stock is marginally up.