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Realty stocks boost indices
Wed, 20 Apr 11:30 am

Indian stock market indices are trading firm on buying interest in heavyweights over the last two hours of trade. All sectoral indices are trading in the positive led by realty and IT stocks.

The BSE-Sensex is up by 160 points while NSE-Nifty is trading 49 points above the dotted line. However, BSE Midcap and BSE Small cap indices are up by 1.2% and 1.3% respectively. The rupee is trading at 44.44 to the US dollar.

PSU Banking stocks are trading in the green led by Indian Bank and Syndicate Bank. As per a leading financial daily, RBI has directed the PSU banks to provide for pension liabilities of their retired staffers during FY10-11. These banks are likely to take a hit of Rs 40 bn as a result of this directive. It may be noted that PSU banks had earlier requested for phased amortization of the pension liabilities. This would have distributed the burden over a span of five years. But the banking regulator does not see their point and has conveyed its order to the Indian Bankers' Association.

The banks that will get hit the most are Punjab National Bank, Central Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Canara Bank and Bank of India. All of these have huge employee base and their pension liability could be Rs 2-3 bn each. Smaller banks like Corporation Bank, Dena Bank and Andhra Bank could have a liability of Rs 1-1.5 bn each. However, there would be no impact on SBI as it has been providing pension benefits to its employees since inception itself.

Auto stocks are trading firm led by Escorts and Mahindra & Mahindra. Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) is planning a tie up with Mitsubishi of Japan to source farm gear from them. M&M plans to market its equipment worldwide. As per agreement being worked out, farm equipment such as tractor would be sourced from Mitsubishi. These would then be sold under the Mahindra & Mahindra label. M&M already has an agreement with Mitsubishi to sell tractors in US and Australia. With this new agreement, the company would be looking to target developing markets like Africa, and some European and South and Central American countries.

Furthermore, in keeping with its strategy of going beyond retailing tractors, M&M launched Yuvraj 215, a 15 HP tractor. This tractor is priced at Rs 181,000. Yuvraj 215 which is being manufactured at the company's Rajkot facility has a top speed of 25.6 kmph and a haulage capacity of 1.5 tonnes. M&M currently has the capacity to produce 16,000 tractors per annum at its Rajkot facility.

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