Indian stock market
indices had a volatile outing today. After opening weak, the stock markets took a turn for the better. However, it did not manage to hold onto the gains for too long, and was trading on either side of the dotted line. Eventually, the markets closed flat, with a negative bias. The BSE-Sensex
lost in the region of 12 points today whereas NSE-Nifty
closed around 9 points lower. The smaller indices fared worse, with the BSE-Midcap
and the BSE-Small cap
index closing in the region of 0.7% lower.
The Sensex closed around 3% lower this week, on account of weak global cues, and a continuation of the RBI's hawkish stance . Asian indices ended the day on the negative note while Europe is also trading in the red currently. The rupee was trading at Rs 44.21 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Hindustan Unilever (HUL) recently announced its first quarter financial results of 2011-2012 (1QFY12). The company has reported 14.8% YoY increase in sales which were on account of strong growth in volumes. This growth was despite various price hikes undertaken in order to counter inflation and rising input costs. All segments reported double-digit growth during the quarter. Operating margins remained almost flat during the quarter at 11.3%. The impact of rising raw material cost was offset by a cut in advertisement expense. Net profit rose by 25% YOY during the quarter. The steep rise was on account of higher other income as well as extraordinary income earned from property sale and stake dilution in subsidiary company, Hindustan Field Services. Excluding the one-time income, the bottom-line grew by a relatively muted 11% YOY. The stock closed 0.4% up for the day.
Public sector bank, Punjab National Bank (PNB) has decided to acquire a 30% stake in MetLife India, an affiliate of US based, MetLife Inc. It will thus become a joint venture partner in the life insurance company. Post regulatory approval and the closing of the transaction, the joint venture will rebrand as PNB MetLife. PNB started this process of choosing an insurance partner in December 2010, and received proposals from 26 different Indian and international companies. The bank finally shortlisted three life insurance companies Bharti AXA, Aviva and MetLife. It finally decided to go with MetLife India's offer. The financial details of the deal have not been disclosed yet, as it is still subject to regulatory approvals. The stock closed nearly 2% up for the day.