The Indian stock markets had a positive outing on the bourses today. After opening at par, markets remained in the positive zone for a bulk of today's session. They continued to trade in a similar range for the entire session. While the BSE-Sensex closed higher by around 112 points (up 0.7%), the NSE-Nifty closed higher by around 35 points (0.7%). The smaller indices also had a positive day on the bourses. BSE Mid cap index closed 0.6% higher. The BSE Small cap, however, closed the day 0.3% higher. On the back of L&T's robust financial performance in 4QFY12, consumer goods stocks were the biggest gainers by a fair margin. Metal and IT stocks also saw strong gains. FMCG stocks had a negative day on the bourses with blue chips trading in the red. Consumer durables stocks closed flat.
As regards global markets, major Asian indices had a mixed outing today. European indices opened the day on a positive note. The rupee was trading at Rs 53.77 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Ashok Leyland is planning to invest about Rs 41.5 bn in Tamil Nadu. The proposed investments included setting up a greenfield facility to manufacture Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV), in collaboration with Nissan. The facility will be set up at Pillaipakkam by Ashok Leyland-Nissan Motor Company. Last year, Ashok Leyland-Nissan launched their first product Dost. The company sold 7,760 units of the vehicle and has managed to grab 17% market share in the LCV market so far. The JV partners, in which Ashok Leyland holds 51%, are planning to launch two more products. The company will also invest in Hosur, Ennore, and later at Velli Vaayalsavadi and Orgadam. Its efforts include expanding the capacity for M&HCV. The CV manufacturer major also said it would launch two more products, including Jan Bus, a front-engine low floor bus, in the second half of FY13, and Five Axle Rigid Truck by end of 1HFY13.
Engineering major L&T who announced its full year results yesterday is depending on growth in overseas markets to help fuel growth. Order inflows in India may not be very strong as the company has seen its clients defer capital expenditure and fresh investment decisions. This domestic weakness may persist for some time, thus diversification may be a good way forward. The company is targeting a 15-20% growth in earnings and is planning to focus on west Asian markets such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, Kuwait and Oman in the current fiscal. It is also in the exploratory stage in various other markets. L&T also expects growth in the US. Investments in shale gas in the country have led to increased production of natural gas liquids. This in turn will help lead to a greater demand for creating downstream facilities that the engineering can build.