Although the Indian indices closed well into the positive, they traded within a range for a larger part of the session today. While the BSE Sensex closed higher by around 143 points (up 0.8%), the NSE Nifty gained around 41 points (up 0.8%). The BSE Midcap and BSE Smallcap also notched gains of 0.3% and 0.4% respectively. While gains were seen in banking and oil & gas stocks, healthcare stocks were at the receiving end.
As regards global markets, Asian indices closed in the green today while the European indices have also opened on a positive note. The rupee was trading at Rs 46.85 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Telecom stocks ended lower today with the key losers being Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular and Tata Communication. Auctions for the broadband wireless access (BWA) spectrum ended today. The government would be raising over Rs 383 bn from these auctions. A few weeks ago, the 3G spectrum auctions were completed, from which the government raised about Rs 677 bn. This has taken the total inflow to the government to a whopping Rs 1 trillion! This would definitely bring a smile on the finance ministerís face as it would help the nation reduce its fiscal deficit substantially. And this too especially when the government was expecting to rake in a sum of about Rs 350 bn from the whole process in the first place.
Similar to what we saw in the 3G auction process, Delhi and Mumbai circles received the highest bids of Rs 22.7 bn and Rs 22.2 bn respectively. Circles down south received high bids as well with Tamil Nadu and Karnataka going for Rs 20.7 bn and Rs 15.4 bn respectively. Maharashtra and Gujarat received bids amount to Rs 9.2 bn and Rs 6.1 respectively.
As per a leading business daily, IT bellwether Infosys intends to start hiring now that growth in the IT sector is back. The management has given a growth guidance of 16-18% this year. Infosysí new facility in Thiruvananthapuram recently crossed the 3,000 employee mark and the company expects the facilities there, including an upcoming building in the outskirts of the city, to employ roughly 6,000 professionals. Infact, Infosys envisages hiring 30,000 professionals by the end of FY11. This is certainly a positive for the entire IT sector which had been hit hard by the global financial crisis and sharp fluctuations in the rupee. The stock of Infosys closed lower today.
As per a leading business daily, engineering major L&T has bagged orders totaling to Rs 7.5 bn. One order is from Coal India for a coal handling plant for the latterís northern coalfield project in Madhya Pradesh. The second order is from Indiabulls Power for the supply and erection of coal handling plants at its thermal units in Amaravati and Nasik. Both the projects are expected to be completed within 24-28 months. The third order is from Hindalco for an aluminium rolling mill complex in Orissa. It must be noted that L&Tís order book at the end of FY10 stood at Rs 1,000 bn, a growth of 43% over the previous year.
While the addition to the order backlog certainly spells good news for the company, execution will be the key. In FY10, while the growth in the order book was robust, growth in sales was rather tepid. Execution of various projects went through rough patches during the year leading to consequent delays. Delays in handing over of project sites, delays in financial closures, funds not being put up by customers during execution were just some of the factors that led to the dismal sales performance during FY10. L&T closed higher today.