Indian stock market
indices continued to trade in the negative during the last two hours of trade on the back of persistent selling activity across index heavyweights. Stocks from the auto and realty space are trading weak and those from the FMCG and IT space are trading firm.
The BSE-Sensex is down by 120 points while NSE-Nifty is trading 36 points below Fridayís closing. BSE Midcap and BSE Small cap indices are down by 0.4% and 0.3% respectively. The rupee is trading at 44.21 to the US dollar.
Food stocks are trading mixed with Tata Coffee and ITC leading the gains. However, United Spirits and Tata Global Beverages are trading in the red. As per a leading financial daily, ITC recently launched a specialty store in Chennai to sell only menswear. The company is planning to introduce such new formats in its retail business under "Wills Lifestyle". It also plans to open "boutique stores". The high-end boutique stores will be set up at five-star hotels and will be aimed at luxury consumers. The diversified conglomerate already operates 3 such stores in its groupís hotels. It sells designer labels in its stores and 15% of its sales are derived from this range.
ITC is targeting a 30% growth in sales for its lifestyle retail business. It plans to open 25 new stores in the next 15 months. 15 of these 25 stores will be based on a franchise-model. It may be noted that at present it has 75 stores in about 40 cities and only 15 of these are franchisee-run.
Engineering stocks are trading mixed with Finolex Cables and Thermax Ltd. trading firm while Siemens and Voltas are trading week. As per a leading financial daily, power equipment major Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) are planning to form a joint venture for setting up an integrated 250 MW solar photovoltaic modules plant. The plant would be set up this fiscal and the two companies have already short listed two locations in Karnataka and one in Andhra Pradesh for setting it up. It has been estimated that an investment of Rs 20 bn would be required for this project.
The integrated plant will manufacture polysilicon ingots, wafers, solar cells, PV modules and panel systems and would cater to Indian solar products requirements (mainly government agencies that are engaged in the popularization of solar energy) besides exports. It may be noted that this project would be a backward integration for BHEL. This is because the company already manufactures solar PV modules at its Bangalore complex. BHEL presently makes silicon modules from wafers. The companyís products range includes power semiconductor devices, grid interactive, hybrid and standalone PV power plants, space grade solar panels and space quality batteries.