After three consecutive sessions of gains, markets were rather volatile in today’s trading session. Alternate bouts of buying and selling across index heavyweights meant that the indices oscillated to either side of yesterday’s close. Profit booking took toll in the final trading hour as the indices closed in the red. While the BSE Sensex closed lower by around 85 points (down 0.4%), the NSE Nifty lost around 32 points (down 0.5%). The BSE Midcap and the BSE Smallcap indices were also at the receiving end as they racked up losses of 1% and 0.4% respectively. Losses were largely seen in IT and metals stocks while banking and FMCG stocks bucked the trend.
As regards global markets, most Asian indices closed in the red today while European indices have opened on a mixed note. The rupee was trading at Rs 46.17 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Auto ancillary stocks closed weak today with the key losers being Exide, NRB Bearings and Sundaram Fasteners. As per a leading business daily, Exide Industries is set to commence commercial production at its new motor-cycle battery manufacturing facility at Ahmednagar. The new plant would be able to produce 400,000 batteries per month. This would then increase the company's total production capacity of two-wheeler batteries by over 60% to 1 m per month. Until now, the company’s facility in Bawal, Haryana was supplying these batteries. But the capacity at the Bawal plant was not able to cater to the rise in demand. Plans on the anvil also include enhancing its four wheeler battery manufacturing capacity by 28% during FY11. For all these expansions, the company has outlined capex to the tune of Rs 2-2.5 bn. This is with the aim of maintaining growth levels given that the auto companies are not likely to record the same kind of robust growth that they witnessed in FY10 in the current fiscal too.
As per a leading business daily, Rural Electrification Corp. (REC) is planning to raise US$ 300-500 m via bonds by the end of November. The company is looking to finance some solar and wind power projects. It is also envisaging financing a few big-ticket power projects being set up by private players. It must be noted that the company is engaged in the financing of power generation, transmission and distribution projects throughout India. REC occupies a nodal position in the government's plans for the growth of the Indian power sector. This is particularly for developing the power infrastructure in rural areas. Moreover, the company performed strongly in 1QFY11 as advances grew by 28% YoY and net interest margins (NIMs) improved. The stock closed lower today.
As per a leading business daily, pharma major Sun Pharma has ended its tender offer for Taro’s shares. This brings the company closer to purchasing the promoters’ controlling shares of Taro. It must be noted that although Sun Pharma had announced its acquisition of Taro in 2007, the latter later terminated the agreement sparking a legal feud between the two. Recently, the US and Israeli courts ruled in favour of Sun Pharma. At the time of acquisition Taro was a loss making company but had around 90% of its sales from the US market and hence the rationale for the acquisition. Sun Pharma has already invested US$ 60 m into Taro to prevent it from going bankrupt. On purchasing the 12% stake from the promoters which controls 41% of the voting rights, Sun Pharma will be able increase its voting rights in Taro to as much as 65%, from the 36% it bought in 2007. This with an agreement to take control later for US$ 454 m. The stock closed higher today.