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BSE Sensex, Nifty flat; Tata Power ONGC jump 2%


The News International Team

11:50 am Sikka’s Infosys drive: Infosys CEO and Managing Director Vishal Sikka told CNBC’s “Squawk Alley” on Tuesday that the Indian firm’s founders are still invested in its future, but that they sold stock to use for philanthropic purposes. Sikka is the company’s first nonfounder CEO.

“It was long overdue, I think it was part of a portfolio decision. The vast majority of their holdings are still there, and they are still among the largest shareholders of the company,” Sikka said of the founders’ stock sale. “They’re fully committed to the management, to the company—it’s all good.”

Founders and their family members sold roughly 32.6 million shares, worth about USD 1.1 billion, according to Reuters. NYSE-traded Infosys stock opened more than 4 percent lower on Monday when the stock sale occurred.

11:30 am  Buzzing: Shares of SKS Microfinance jumped as much as 8.8 percent intraday to hit fresh 52-week high of Rs 379.50 on Wednesday. Brokerage UBS initiated coverage on the stock with buy rating and set target price of Rs 500, citing strong growth potential and high return on equity (ROE) in the micro finance company.

SKS is one of its preferred NBFC picks (the others are LIC Housing Finance and Shriram Transport Finance).

The brokerage said after consolidating over FY11-13, non-banking microfinance companies (NBFC-MFIs) have resumed their growth trajectory, with loan growth of more than 40 percent in FY14 and H1 FY15. It expects low microfinance penetration and a rising market share for NBFC-MFIs to support a loan CAGR of more than 25 percent for the sector over the medium term.

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The market is still dragging with the Sensex down 38.93 points at 27758.08. The Nifty is down 9.95 points at 8330.75. About 1299 shares have advanced, 961 shares declined, and 89 shares are unchanged.

Sun Pharma, ITC, Bajaj Auto, HDFC and HUL are among losers in the Sensex. The gainers include Tata Power, ONGC, Sesa Sterlite, Hindalco and Hero MotoCorp.

Globally, China bounces back after reacting negatively to the CPI data for November that came in at 1.4 percent the lowest reading since November 2009.

However, most of the other Asian markets are in the red. Besides reacting to sluggish data from China, sentiment is impacted by the over 12 percent fall in Greek markets. Brent crude continues to trade around 5-year lows.

Oil prices fell in Asia today as dealers await the latest US supply report for clues about production levels, while weak Chinese and German trade data also weighed, analysts said.
Analysts surveyed by the Wall Street Journal said they expected domestic inventories to have fallen by 2.7 million barrels in the week to December 5.

The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, in its own survey however said stockpiles likely rose 4.4 million barrels. It said refinery operations likely increased 1.6 percentage points to 94.6 per cent of capacity.


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