The News International Team
02:25pm Stake sale
India plans to raise around Rs 5,000 (USD 813.4 million) this fiscal year by selling stakes in companies including ITC, Larsen & Toubro and Axis Bank, a senior official with knowledge of policymakers’ discussions said.
The sales could be made through an exchange traded fund that could be launched before the end of March, the official told Reuters, requesting anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
The ETF would be made up of the government’s stakeholdings in up to ten companies, including stakes in companies held through an offshoot of the Unit Trust of India known as SUUTI.
The government holds 11.27 percent in ITC, 8.18 percent in L&T and 11.66 percent in Axis Bank through SUUTI.
SUUTI, which stands for Specified Undertaking of The Unit Trust of India, said in a statement that it has invited bids from asset management companies to help it set up the ETF.
02:00pm Market Check
The market remained marginally under pressure amid volatility. The Sensex fell 51.11 points to 26220.86 and the Nifty declined 15.95 points to 7836.45.
The broader markets declined too with the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices losing 0.2-0.4 percent. Declining shares outnumbered advancing ones by a ratio of 1505 to 1233 on the Bombay Stock Exchange.
India looks extremely favourable moving into FY15, says Adrian Mowat of JPMorgan. He expects India to outperform even in FY16, saying India is likely to get disproportionate flows this year and next.
The rupee traded marginally higher as sentiment improved after positive growth forecast from the IMF. However, weakness in equities limited the upmove.
Oil marketing stocks like BPCL, HPCL and IOC surged 3-5% on hopes that diesel profitability will rise as Brent crude prices are almost 20 percent lower from their 2014 highs. Analysts say that every rise of 50 paise per litre in the diesel margin for the full year will improve FY15 earnings per share for OMCs between 19 to 43 percent.
Infosys, Tata Steel, Force Motors, SBI, Larsen and Toubro, Tech Mahindra and Apollo Tyres were most active shares on exchanges.