Profit booking in key heavyweights from the telecom and commodity sectors led the indices in Indian equity markets languish in the red throughout the session today. Select cement and Pharma sector stocks, however, managed to buck the trend. While the Sensex today closed lower by around 62 points, losses on the NSE-Nifty came in at around 10 points. The BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices, however, bucked the trend and ended higher by around 0.3% and 0.6% respectively.
Asian indices across the board closed lower today with Europe too trading in the negative currently. The rupee was placed at Rs 53.54 to the dollar at the time of writing.
FMCG major Hindustan Unilever (HUL), has inked pact with Maharashtra government as a part of its parent company Unilever's sustainable living plan to source all its agricultural raw materials through sustainable practice by 2020. It has entered into a public-private partnership for the first time and started sourcing tomatoes.
The company will also provide farmers with a buy-back guarantee for their produce as part of the sourcing arrangement. Some 579 farmers in Nashik and Pune districts have benefited from the partnership between HUL and state government. It plans to source all 100% of the tomatoes used in its ketchups locally from sustainable sources by 2015 and aims to make India an export hub for parent Unilever.
The telecom department is about to issue show cause notices to GSM operators like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular, directing them to scrap their 3G roaming pacts. Since Bharti, Vodafone and Idea had won 3G airwaves in 13, 9 and 11 circles respectively, they were compelled to ink intra-circle roaming pacts to deliver high-speed data services nationally. The telecom department, however, maintains that such 3G roaming pacts are illegal. At present, the maximum fine for a licence violation is Rs 500 m per circle. As per Economic Times, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea could face penalties to the tune of Rs 5 bn, Rs 4.5 bn and Rs 5.5 bn respectively for unlawfully inking 3G roaming pacts in zones where they don't hold 3G airwaves.