Indian equity markets ended the day on a firm note today although profit booking at higher levels resulted in some gains being eroded. The day's proceedings began on a strong note and the subsequent hours saw some of these gains being pared as investors chose to take some profits off the table. Despite this, the indices managed to close the session well above the dotted line. While the BSE-Sensex today closed higher by 85 points, the NSE-Nifty closed higher by 31 points. The BSE Mid Cap and the BSE Small Cap index also did well to notch gains of 0.2% each. Barring IT stocks, gains were seen across sectors.
As regards global markets, Asian indices closed firm today while European indices have opened mixed. The rupee was trading at Rs 60.49 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Barring Tata Motors, most auto stocks closed in the red today with the key losers being Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) and Hero Motocorp. As per a leading business daily, Hero Motocorp has announced its entry into the African continent with the launch of its products in Kenya. The company has also set up an assembly unit there, the capacity of which has not been divulged. In Kenya, Hero Motocorp has entered into a partnership with Ryce East Africa to sell its two-wheelers in the country. As per the terms, Sameer Group, which is a part of Ryce East Africa, will be the authorised distributor of Hero's range of two-wheelers in Kenya. These products will be distributed through a network of outlets spread across the country. After its split with Honda Motors, Hero Motocorp had stated its intentions of capitalising on the exports opportunity. Indeed, its peer Bajaj Auto has witnessed strong growth in exports in the past, which many a time helped offset the difficult conditions in the domestic market.
As per a leading business daily, Bharti Airtel has bought an additional 2% stake in the Indian broadband units of Qualcomm Inc., as a result of which it has become a majority shareholder in the latter. This is part of Bharti's strategy to spur profit growth from broadband services given that competition has been intense in the traditional voice-calls category. The rationale is also to garner bigger share of profits from its units and joint ventures in which it has stakes. It must be noted that in 2010, Qualcomm won bandwidth to offer high speed wireless broadband services in Delhi, Mumbai, Haryana and Kerala. It formed 4 separate joint ventures for each of those areas. With this latest transaction, Bharti Airtel now owns 51% in each of the 4 companies. The stock closed lower today.