Indian stock markets continued to trade on a strong note during the previous two hours of trade led by continuous buying from index heavyweights. Almost all sectoral indices are trading on a firm note led by heavy buying in consumer durables and IT stocks.
The BSE-Sensex is trading up by 142 points and the NSE-Nifty is trading up by 52 points. The BSE Mid Cap index is trading up 0.5% and the BSE Small Cap index is trading up 0.9% today. The rupee is trading at 61.01 to the US dollar.
Most energy stocks are trading on a firm note led by HPCL and BPCL. However, Castrol is trading in the red. As per a leading business daily, Cairn India has been questioned by one its minority shareholders in relation to related party transaction that apparently has undermined minority interest. Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), the second largest shareholder in Cairn India (after the promoter Vedanta Group) with 9.09% stake, has sought more information from the company regarding US$ 1.25 bn loan given to parent company Sesa Sterlite for two years. As per LIC, the loan has been given at a time when Cairn itself needs money for its expansion plans. Further, the money has been disposed at very attractive terms to its parent. When two year fixed deposit can fetch close to 9-9.5% interest p.a., the company will only receive interest at the rate of 3.5% p.a. LIC has sought explanation as to how the loan would benefit shareholders of Cairn India. The loan information details were revealed by the company in its June 2014 result, which led to concern among many institutional investors who sold their holding in the company. Cairn India stock has declined by about 9.5% since then. Today, the stock is trading higher by about 2%.
Most of the food stocks are trading in the green led by Godfrey Phillips and Sterling Biotech. Britannia and Glaxo SmithKline Consumer Healthcare (GSKCH) are among the few stocks trading in the red. As per a leading financial daily, malted food drink company GSKCH wants to expand its distribution reach by enhancing penetration in rural India. The company wants to add one million stores to its existing network of 2.7 million stores over the next 18 months. The company estimates the new stores to contribute incremental sales of Rs 5 -15 bn in the near future. The company would cover the top 40 towns with a population of over 1 million and reach out to 2 lakh more stores in these cities over the next 18 months. GSKCH wants to address the slum dwellers in these growing towns and create awareness about malnutrition and the need for health food drink. The company is also looking at promoting social entrepreneurship by selecting women from rural locality and providing them with micro loans to start brand promotion and sales of the company's healthcare products. This person known as 'Horlicks Akka' will function as the company's representative for one or two villages and supply the products. The company expects its Rs 5 sachets to enable it to penetrate the rural and slum markets.