Indian stock market indices are trading flat with a positive bias as investors traded cautiously over the last two hours of trade. Stocks from the banking and capital goods space are trading firm while stocks from the pharma and IT space are trading weak.
The BSE-Sensex is up by 34 points while NSE-Nifty is trading 5 points above the dotted line. BSE Midcap index is up by 0.2% while BSE Small cap index is trading 0.3% above Friday's closing. The rupee is trading at 44.77 to the US dollar.
FMCG stocks are trading mixed with Hindustan Unilever and Marico trading firm while Henkel India and Godrej Consumer are trading weak. As per a press release from Marico, the company has announced the divestment of its refined sunflower oil brand, Sweekar to Carhill India Private Limited. While the details of the transaction have not been disclosed yet it may be noted that Sweekar had been on the block for a few years now. This is because Marico had identified Saffola as its core cooking oil brand on the health and wellness platform. Moreover, Sweekar had lower profitability than Saffola due to intense competition in the sunflower oil space.
It may be noted that Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. The company is privately held and has had a presence on India since 1987.
Engineering stocks are trading mixed with AIA Engineering and Elecon Engineering in the list of gainers while Jain Irrigation and Bharat Earth Movers are among the losers. As per a leading financial daily L&T is likely to sell its stake in joint ventures in which it is not holding a majority stake. At present, the company is focusing on two such JVs under the machinery and industrial products division. L&T is in talks with CNH, a US based agriculture and construction equipment company with which it has a 50:50 joint venture - L&T Case Equipment Private Limited. This JV produces loader backhoes, vibratory compactors and other earth moving equipment. L&T is expected to ask for Rs 2 bn for its stake. Another JV under review is the one with Japanese company Komatsu for hydraulic excavators and components.
L&T has realigned its JVs in the past. These included the JVs with Germany's Demag Plastics Group and Messer Electric and Castolin Group. The company had also exited the Bangalore airport project. It may be recalled that in January, L&T had announced restructuring plan for its businesses. It had split its portfolio comprising of 64 businesses into 9 independent entities with a separate head of business and board of directors for each of these.