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Indian stock markets lose further ground
Tue, 20 Dec 01:30 pm

Indian stock markets plunged deeper into the red in the last two hours of the trade as selling persisted across index heavyweights. Barring FMCG, all sectoral indices were trading weak.

The BSE-Sensex is trading down 126 points and NSE-Nifty is trading down 43 points. BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices are trading weak by 1.3% and 1.1% respectively. The rupee is trading at 53.03 to the US dollar.

Engineering stocks are mainly trading in the red led by Shanthi Gears and Jain Irrigation. As per a leading financial daily, Larsen and Toubro (L&T), that has been witnessing a significant order slowdown on account of policy paralysis in the country, might receive a boost as it hopes to bag new contracts. The company will be bidding for the construction of the new Abu Dhabi airport. The bids will be opened in December end. The company, along with consortium partners, expects to get contracts worth upto US$ 4 bn. The order would entail construction of airport terminal, runway, traffic control system, equipment handling and overall infrastructure building. In November last year, the company had bid for the Al-Salalah airport in Oman in partnership with Galfar Engineering and Construction. The company is facing tough times and has recently revised its order inflow target to 5% from the earlier guidance of 15%. It also expects margins to take a hit on account of inflation.

Stocks from the media sector are trading mixed with Fame India and Next Mediaworks leading the pack of losers and Network 18 Media leading the gainers. Broadcasting & cable television industry seems set to benefit from the recent parliamentary approval to digitize cable television. According to a leading business daily, digitization will be achieved across the country by 2014 in four-phases with the first phase envisaging the roll-out in metropolitan cities by June 2012. This will provide a fillip to Direct-to-home (DTH) services mode for digitization. Thus DTH service providers such as Dish TV, Airtel, Videocon, Sun TV, Reliance Big TV and Tata Sky will benefit. This is likely to trigger consolidation in the industry as players scramble to widen their subscriber bases. Apart from distributors even broadcasting companies like Zee Entertainment, which hitherto had been losing revenues from under-reporting of subscription numbers, are expected to see improved topline from higher transparency and technological backend to provide value-added services.

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