Although negative trends in indices across Asia rubbed off on their counterparts in the Indian stock market today, it was the weak IIP number that took the toll. The indices had a dull opening today and went on to make further inroads into the negative territory as the session progressed. This was led by weakness in capital goods, auto and infrastructure stocks.
The BSE-Sensex closed with losses of around 189 points (1%), while the NSE-Nifty was down around 56 points (1%). Mid and smallcap stocks too failed to sustain gains, as the BSE Midcap and BSE Small cap indices closed with losses of around 0.7% each. The rupee was trading at 44.36 against the US dollar at the time of writing this.
The country's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki plans to ramp up its manpower to suffice the requirements of its upcoming capacities. The company said that it will hire at least 2,300 people, mainly for its upcoming two new plants in Manesar, within next two years. With induction of these people, the company's workforce will expand by about 27% to nearly 11,000 employees. The company plans to invest over Rs 36 bn to set up the two new plants with 0.25 m annual capacities each at the Manesar facility. While the first plant is expected to become operational by the end of FY12, the second one is scheduled to be operational in FY13.
The company has an annual capacity of 0.85 m units at its Gurgaon plant, while the existing plant in Manesar can produce 0.35 m units annually, with the overall capacity totaling to 1.2 m units per year. The carmaker had ramped up production by about 10% every month from October 2010, taking its total annual output to 1.4 m units for 2011-12.
Meanwhile the overall industrial growth numbers for India are not particularly enthusing. As per the latest data, the IIP growth slowed to 3.6% in February, 2011, compared to 15.1% expansion in the year-ago period. This was due to the poor performance of manufacturing and mining sectors. With inflation numbers showing signs of cooling off it is expected that manufacturing numbers will get a boost in the coming months.
Hindustan Zinc reported its mined metal production for the fourth quarter of FY11 today. The production rose 9% YoY to 0.84 m tonnes in FY11 due to higher contributions from Rampura Agucha and Sindesar Khurd mines. Refined zinc production rose 29% YoY in 4QFY11. The new 210 kilo tonnes per annum (ktpa) Rajpura Dariba smelter, which was commissioned in March 2010, contributed 46,000 tonnes and 0.16 m tonnes in the fourth quarter and full year respectively. Commissioning of the 100 ktpa lead smelter at Dariba is expected to be completed in 1QFY12, which will increase lead and silver production. Hindustan Zinc is one of the lowest cost producers of Zinc-Lead in the world. Its production costs lie in the lowest quartile when compared to the rest of the producers of these metals globally. And the source of this advantage comes from one of its assets, the Rampura Agucha mine, the biggest zinc lead mine that the company has under its wing.