Backed by sustained buying in interest-sensitive stocks, the Indian share markets continued to trade strongly in the last two trading hours. Barring consumer durables, all the sectoral indices are trading positive. Banking and realty stocks have clocked the biggest gains.
The BSE-Sensex is trading up 161 points and NSE-Nifty is trading up 42 points. Both BSE Mid cap index and BSE Small cap index are trading down up 0.5% and 0.4%, respectively. The rupee is trading at 54.9 to the US dollar.
Majority of the auto stocks are trading positive with Maruti Suzuki and Hero Motocorp being the biggest gainers. A leading business daily has reported that auto major Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) has been sued by a number of US based auto dealers. The later filed a lawsuit a few days ago accusing M&M of 'fraud, misrepresentation and conspiracy'. As part of the lawsuit, the Indian company has been accused of duping hundreds of dealers and walking away with more than US$ 60 m in cash and trade secrets. Given that the matter is in court, M&M has refused to make any comments on the same. However, it must be mentioned here that earlier a company named Global Vehicles had accused M&M of violating a distribution agreement for selling vehicles in the US and in the process filed a case against the company. However, about three months ago, M&M announced its victory in the arbitration case.
As per the attorney representing the US dealers, M&M told dealers that its light trucks and SUVs were ready for delivery to the US market, but that the company intentionally delayed the certification post obtaining the dealership fees and trade secrets. Thereafter, the company apparently began pursuing other partners in the US and elsewhere, thereby clearly violating commitments. The dealers are believed to have paid the initial dealership fees, as well as have gone ahead with marketing activities on behalf of M&M. This includes developments such as building M&M showrooms, display platforms and showcases. The M&M stock is marginally down.
The energy stocks are trading mixed with Cairn India and MRPL being the biggest gainers and Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and Gujarat State Petronet being the biggest losers. As per a leading business daily, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has announced investment plans of Rs 1,000 bn to double operating profits over a time period of 4-5 years. The investments are to be made in petrochemicals and refinery projects that are expected to commission over the next 2-3 years. The company has said that its downstream refinery business is expected to generate additional margins of 30%-40% in the next three years. RIL has added that its 4G rollout plans have been finalized whereas its retail venture is expected to turn profitable within three years. RIL stock is up 1.6%.