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Banking, metals lead the gains
Tue, 14 Aug 01:30 pm

Strong buying activity led the Indian equity markets to rise above the dotted line during the post noon trading session. Barring stocks form the power and healthcare spaces, all other sectoral indices are trading firm led by the banking and metal indices.

The Sensex today is trading higher by about 90 points (up 0.5%) while the NSE-Nifty is trading higher by about 35 points (up 0.7%). Midcap and smallcap stocks are also trading with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices trading higher by about 0.3% each. The rupee is trading at 55.64 to the US dollar.

Real estate state are currently trading mixed with Ansal Properties and Omaxe trading weak, while Orbit Corporation and Mahindra Lifespace Developers trading firm. Real estate major DLF is in the news on account of its long-drawn plan of divesting stake in its non-core assets finally coming to fruition. As per a leading business daily, the company has sold its 17.5 acre plot of NTC Mills land in Mumbai to Lodha Developers for Rs 27 bn. This development will help the company in reducing its debt burden. In its results for the quarter ended June 2012, DLF reported an 18% YoY decline in profits, while revenue declined by 10% YoY. The sharper decline in profits was largely on account of a 25% YoY rise in interest costs, which stood at Rs 6.2 bn in absolute terms. DLF's net debt stood at about Rs 227 bn at the end of the quarter. Apart from this NTC Mills deal, the company is also looking at divesting other two major non-core assets namely Aman Resorts and its wind power business. The management recently has pointed out that the sale of these three non-core assets would help the company raise around Rs 50 bn - 60 bn.

Energy stocks are currently trading firm led by Essar Oil, Reliance Industries and Aban Offshore. As per a leading financial daily, Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) is setting up a urea plant in joint venture with a private company in North Tripura district. The project having an estimated capital expenditure of Rs 50 bn is being developed in close proximity to ONGC's Khobal gas find near the Assam-Agartala National Highway. The fuel for the plant will be sourced from the gas reserve. According to ONGC, the plant is expected to meet the urea requirement not only in Tripura but the entire North-East region and will also be exported to neighboring Bangladesh.

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