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Banks drag down Indian stock markets
Mon, 7 May 09:30 am

Asian stock markets have opened the week on a weak note. Markets in Japan (down 2.6%), Singapore (down 1.7%) and South Korea (down 1.7%) are leading the losses in the region. The Indian stock markets have opened the day on a negative note as well. Stocks in the banking and realty sectors are witnessing maximum losses.

The BSE-Sensex is down by around 242 points (1.4%), while the NSE-Nifty is down by around 74 points (1.5%). Mid and small cap stocks are trading in the red as well with the BSE Mid cap and BSE Small cap indices down by around 1.6% and 1.2% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 53.59 to the US dollar.

Textile stocks have opened the day on a negative note with Eastern Silk Industries, Pioneer Embroideries and Grasim Industries leading the pack of losers. Aditya Birla Group controlled Grasim Industries has announced its results for the quarter and financial year ended March 2012. During the quarter (4QFY12), the company's standalone net sales stood at about Rs 13.9 bn, witnessing a marginal decline of 2.6% year-on-year (YoY). Operating profits declined by 53.3% YoY to almost Rs 2.2 bn. as all cost heads witnessed upward pressure. There was some relief on account of 27.5% YoY rise in other income which stood at Rs 1.5 bn during 4QFY12. Interest expenses and depreciation charges declined by 44.7% YoY and 12.6% YoY, respectively. At the bottom-line level, net profit dropped by 38.4% YoY to Rs 2.4 bn during the quarter. During the full financial year (FY12), while sales grew by 7.3% YoY, net profits remained almost flat.

Engineering stocks have opened the day on a negative as well with Jain Irrigation, Jyoti Structures and Cummins India leading the losses. India's largest engine supplier for three-wheelers, Greaves Cotton, plans to diversify. The company plans to manufacture diesel engines for both the passenger cars as well as for light, medium and heavy trucks. The company's Managing Director has stated that they have approached several passenger car manufacturers for this and plan to enter the space in a big way in the next three to four years' time. Currently, the demand for diesel powered passenger cars is hovering at its all time high. This is largely on account of the huge differential in the prices of petrol and diesel. Several international companies like Suzuki, Hyundai as well as Honda are all getting into the compact diesel engine segment.

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