After opening firm, the Indian Indices have remained above the dotted line in the last two hours of trading. Apart from the IT index all sectoral indices are trading in the green. The buying interest is the highest in banking and automobile stocks.
The BSE Sensex is trading up 60 points and the NSE-Nifty is trading up 18 points. The BSE Mid Cap index is trading up 0.3% and the BSE Small Cap index is trading up 0.6% today. The rupee is trading at 60.01 to the US dollar.
Most real estate stocks are trading higher today. Brigade Enterprises and Ansal Properties are leading the gainers. According to a leading financial daily, realty firms are reducing their land banks to improve their margins. Large realtors have begun tying up with landowners to reduce the cost of their projects. Companies like Godrej Properties and Tata Housing are leading the way with this new format of property development. This method reduces the investment requirement from the developers and thus improves the return on investment. According to realtors the new land acquisition bill has made it difficult to acquire large parcels of land and the joint development model may be the best way for the industry to move forward.
Food and Tobacco stocks are trading mixed today. Golden Tobacco and Sterling Biotech are leading the gainers. GSK Consumers and Agro Tech Foods are leading the losers. As per a leading business daily, ITC is in an advanced stage of negotiations with Bangalore-based Balan Natural Foods to acquire its juice brand B Natural. This acquisition shall mark the group's entry into the beverage market. The acquisition is expected to cost less than Rs 800 m for ITC. It is believed that ITC's entry into the Rs 12 bn packaged-juice market can stir up a stiff competition with leaders like Dabur India and PepsiCo. ITC with its strong brand equity in the past has challenged companies like Nestle in the instant noodles segment. Balan is expected to act as the manufacturing partner for ITC and the latter will only acquire the brand. Balan's estimated annual sales are around Rs 400 m and its main market is in the South. ITC is trading down 0.3% today.