The Indian stock market indices lost further ground due to selling pressure in heavyweights in the last two hours of trade. Most of the sectoral indices are trading in the red. Stocks from the software, capital goods and realty sectors are trading weak, while those from the consumer durables space are trading firm.
The BSE-Sensex is down 145 points while NSE-Nifty is trading 48 points below the dotted line. BSE Midcap is and BSE Small cap indices are down 0.6% and 0.5% respectively. The rupee is trading at 45.41 to the US dollar.
Most of the software stocks are trading weak with Patni Computers, Mahindra Satyam and Moser Baer (India) leading the pack of losers. However, Mphasis Ltd and Oracle Financial Services Software (OFSS) are trading firm. As per a leading financial daily, US authorities are investigating whether Infosys Technologies Ltd. used cheaper and easy to obtain B-1 visas to bring in its employees for longer term stays instead of harder to get, work visas (H-1B visas). The investigation is in response to an allegation that Infosys was affected by the limited number of H-1Bs in 2009 and began using B-1s to circumvent H-1B requirements. The B-1 business visas are meant for foreign nationals who come to the US for purposes such as attending business conventions, consulting with business associates or installing machinery.
If the company is found guilty, it will be a violation of American visa laws. The company has said that it has received a subpoena from the US regarding the issue. The timing of investigation coincides with a national debate in the US whether a cheaper work force, especially in the software sector is displacing qualified Americans. As a result of this investigation, the government has been spurred to tighten the regulations so that the immigration system is not abused. Visa frauds can carry penalties of 10 years in prison along with the fines. The companies that are found to violate the terms of an H-1B visa can be temporarily suspended from participating in such programs. The stock of the company is trading in the red.
Realty stocks are trading mixed with Reliance Industrial Infrastructure, Simplex Infrastructures and Ackruti City leading the pack of gainers. However, Sobha Developers, DLF Ltd and NCC Ltd are trading weak. DLF Ltd. has announced its results for the fourth quarter of financial year FY11. The sales and other income were up 35% YoY during the quarter. The company reported a 19% YoY decline in the fourth quarter profit on account of higher costs. The company has a net debt of Rs 214 bn as on March 31, 2011 and it intends to repay up to Rs 50 bn with funds raised through selling non-core assets. The net profit for FY11 declined 5% YoY, while sales and other receipts were up 29% YoY. The company sold 10 m sq. feet of residential and commercial property during FY11 (versus sale of 12.5 m sq. feet in FY10). As on March 31, it had projects covering 53 m sq. feet under construction. The company aims to build projects covering 10 m sq. feet to 12 m sq. feet this year of which majority will be plots to reduce execution risks and counter inflationary pressures. The company has declared dividend at Rs 2 per share.