Barring Malaysia (up 0.4%) and Indonesia (up 0.2%), major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a weak note with Hong Kong (down 0.9%) and Japan (down 0.8%) leading the losses. However the Indian share market indices have opened the day on a positive note. Stocks in the realty and oil and gas space are leading the gains while information technology stocks are trading weak.
The Sensex today is up by around 92 points (0.4%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 20 point (0.3%). Mid and small cap stocks are also trading in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.6% and 0.5% respectively. The rupee is currently trading at Rs 61.58 to the US dollar.
Cement stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Ramco Cements, ACC Ltd and Ambuja Cements leading the losses. However, JK Lakshmi Cement and India Cements are trading firm. Holcim Group cement firm Ambuja Cements has announced its financial results for the third quarter of the calendar year 2013 (3QCY13). During the quarter, net sales stood at Rs 20,049 m, lower by 7.4% on a year-on-year (YoY) basis. Operating profits stood at Rs 2,554 m, reporting a decline of 50.6% YoY. The drop in operating margins from 23.9% in 3QCY12 to 12.7% in 3QCY13 was mainly due to lower realisations and higher logistics expenses. While depreciation expenses decreased by 9.3% YoY, finance costs increased by 7.7% YoY. The company reported an exceptional gain of Rs 248.2 m on account of sale of residential flats. At the bottomline level, net profits plunged by 45.4% YoY. Net profit margins declined from 14% in 3QCY12 to 8.3% in 3QCY13.
Mining stocks have opened the day on a firm note with National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC), Sesa Sterlite and Hindustan Zinc leading the gains. Vedanta Group firm Hindustan Zinc has announced its financial results for the second quarter of the financial year 2013-14 (2QFY14). During the quarter, net sales stood at Rs 35,591 m, higher by 24.2% on a year-on-year (YoY) basis. The growth in the topline was driven by higher mined metal production. Operating profits stood at Rs 18,834 m, reporting a rise of 28.2% YoY. Operating profit margins improved from 51.3% in 2QFY13 to 52.9% in 2QFY14. Other income dipped by 48.8% YoY to Rs 2,669 m during the quarter. Depreciation and interest expenses increased by 6.8% YoY and 38% YoY, respectively. The company reported an exceptional loss of Rs 612 m on account of VRS expenses. At the bottomline level, net profits increased by 6.5% YoY. Net profit margins declined from 53.7% in 2QFY13 to 46.1% in 2QFY14.