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Sensex, Nifty steady; Tech Mahindra, HCL Tech top gainers

14:00

The News International Team

03:00pm Arvind ties up with US-based GAP Inc

American clothing retailer Gap will enter India next year in partnership with textile company Arvind Lifestyle Brand and open 40 outlets across the country as part of its global expansion strategy.

The brand plans to open about 40 franchise-operated Gap stores in India, the company said in a statement.

The first two Gap outlets are expected to open in Mumbai and Delhi by next year, starting with Gap’s Summer 2015 collection for adults, kids and babies.

Describing India as an “important next step” in its global expansion strategy, the San Francisco-based company will enter the emerging Asian economy through franchise-operated Gap brand stores in partnership with Arvind Lifestyle Brand, a subsidiary of Arvind Limited.

“India is an emerging, vibrant market and an important next step in our global expansion strategy,” said Steve Sunnucks, Global President of Gap.

“More than half of India’s population is under 25 and they are actively embracing fashion in today’s retail environment,” Vice President of Gap Global Franchise Ismail Seyis said.

02:45pm NHC Foods in demand

Shares of NHC Foods recouped losses of the previous session, rising 6.5 percent on joint venture with online food and grocery store.

The company has entered into a joint venture with BigBasket.com, India’s largest online food and grocery store for the launch of its branded range of spices – Saaz, said the company in its filing.

The venture has begun with the Mumbai city and now plans to introduce Saaz in Hyderabad and Banaglore,” it added.

NHC Foods is engaged in the procurement and processing of whole and ground spices, animal feeds, oil seeds and food grains.

“With the online grocery market being largely untapped, the company estimates that it will enhance its existing consumer base thus resulting in monthly sales growth of around 10 percent by end of this financial year,” said NHC Foods.

02:25pm Maruti in focus

RC Bhargava, the former CEO and current chairman of Maruti Suzuki, the country’s largest carmaker, said demand will pick up only when the economy picks up pace.

On the brighter side, he expects growth to go beyond 7 percent mark in 18 months. “Things are looking more optimistic this festive season,” he adds.

Kenichi Ayukawa, MD and CEO, Maruti Suzuki says demand is coming back, but it is mostly deferred demand. He says the company plans to launch light commercial vehicle, or LCV, by next calendar year.

Exclaiming his delight with diesel price deregulation, Bhargava says it has given the company clarity on product mix. He adds that the company has benefited from the revival of demand in the petrol car segment.

Maruti Suzuki also has a major presence in rural India. According to Bhargava, the rural market is immune to issues such as inflation.

02:00pm Equity benchmarks as well as benchmarks continued to see marginal gains. The Sensex rose 69.70 points to 26429.81 and the Nifty gained 23.40 points at 7914.50; both are heading towards positive close for the week.

About 1386 shares have advanced, 1514 shares declined, and 112 shares are unchanged.

Mahesh Nandurkar, CLSA says the brokerage continues to believe in the domestic recovery story. “Some initial data points on 4-wheeler and cement demand growth improvement and encouraging performance of the state owned banks fortifies our confidence,” he adds.

Tech Mahindra and HCL Technologies topped the buying list in the Nifty, up 3.66 percent and 3 percent, respectively followed by Hindalco Industries, State Bank of India, PNB, Infosys, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank with 1-2.6 percent.

However, HDFC, Coal India, BPCL, Dr Reddy’s Labs, Ambuja Cements, Bharti Airtel and NTPC declined 1-2 percent.

Among midcaps, BASF, Finolex Industries, Manappuram Finance, Jyothy Labs and Shree Renuka Sugars rallied 5-16 percent whereas Bhushan Steel, Sobha Developer, Cyient, Edelweiss Financial and GMR Infrastructure lost 3-5 percent.

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