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Indian Indices Open Firm
Mon, 23 May 09:30 am

Barring Japan, major Asian stock markets have opened the day on positive note. Stock markets in China and Indonesia are trading higher by 0.5% and 0.6% respectively. Benchmark indices in Europe and US ended their previous session on an encouraging note. The rupee is trading at 67.40 per US$.

Indian stock markets have opened the day on a strong footing. The BSE Sensex is trading higher by 150 points (up 0.6%) and NSE Nifty is trading higher by 43 points (up 0.6%). Both, BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap are trading higher by 0.3% and 0.6% respectively.

Major sectoral indices have opened the day in green with stocks from FMCG and automobile sector witnessing buying interest.

ITC reported its results for the quarter ended March 2016. The company's net sales grew by 9.5% YoY to Rs 100.6 billion during the quarter. The sales growth is partially attributed to the low base as present in the same quarter in the last year. There was a considerable hike in the excise duty in the preceding year, which dragged down the sales volumes. However, in the 2016-17 budget, the excise duty hike was moderate.

The operating profits too grew by 13.7% YoY during the quarter. However, operating margins witnessed a decline, when compared on a sequential basis. The decline is mainly on account of lower margins in the cigarettes business.

Further, the net profits grew by 5.7% YoY to Rs 24.9 billion during the quarter. The marginal growth was on account of higher tax incidence.

Moreover, in the next quarter i.e June quarter (1QFY17), the sales growth is expected to get impacted on account of larger pictorial warnings. The production too remained shut in protest against this decision. Further, the cigarette companies have also failed to get a stay on this decision.

Going forward, the traction from its non-cigarette business coupled with the sales growth from its cigarette business will be the key thing to watch out for the company.

As per an article in Mint, Tata Motors Ltd is in talks with a local auto manufacturer to form a joint venture (JV) for assembling petrol cars in Iran. Knocked-down versions of the cars will be imported and assembled at Iran Khodro's manufacturing facility after adding local components such as tyres and batteries.

Further, the company will use Iran Khodro's sales network. The branding will be of Tata Motors, while Iran Khodro will be just a contract manufacturer. Initially, the company is looking at assembling one lakh cars a year. Production at the factory, which may be located in suburban Tehran or Mashhad, is scheduled to begin by 2018.

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