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Indian share markets open weak
Thu, 23 May 09:30 am

Barring China (up 0.1%, all major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a weak note with Hong Kong (down 1.6%) and Japan (down 1%) leading the losses. The Indian share market indices have also opened the day on a weak note. Stocks in the realty and capital goods space are leading the losses. However, information technology stocks are trading firm.

The Sensex today is down by around 69 points (0.3%), while the NSE-Nifty is down by around 26 point (0.4%). Mid and small cap stocks are also trading in the red with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices down by around 0.6% and 0.5% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 55.60 to the US dollar.

Engineering stocks have opened the day on a weak note with Larsen & Toubro (L&T), Punj Lloyd, TRF Ltd and Engineers India Ltd (EIL) leading the losses. As per a leading financial daily, leading infrastructure firm L&T is planning to lay greater focus on expanding its international business. During the ongoing fiscal 2013-14 (FY14), the company aims to more than double its overseas orders to Rs 250 bn. The international orders were to the tune of Rs 120 bn in the financial year 2012-13 (FY13), 17% of the total order book of Rs 880.4 bn. It is worth noting that company's greater focus on international operations comes at a time when there are increasing challenges in the domestic market. The company had to remove a couple of slow moving orders worth Rs 170 bn in FY13 due to the poor market conditions. The company has some more slow moving orders Rs 50-60 bn on its books.

The stocks in the media sector have opened on a mixed note with Deccan Chronicle and Next Mediaworks leading the gains. However, NDTV and Broadcast Initiatives have opened in the red. Zee Entertainment Ltd has announced the results for the fourth quarter of financial year 2013. For the quarter, the revenues registered a growth of 11% on a year on year (YoY) basis and net profits were up by 10.7% YoY. The operating margins for the quarter expanded to 25.1% YoY due to better cost control. The growth is driven by a healthy momentum in both advertising and subscriptions. The advertising revenues for the quarter were up 15.5% YoY and subscription revenues grew by 13.0% YoY. The Board has recommended an equity dividend of Rs 2 per share.

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