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Nifty below 8350; HUL sees profit taking, Brent at 6-yr low

12:00

The News International Team

12:55pm Lakshmi Vilas Bank shares in demand

Private sector lender Lakshmi Vilas Bank has reported a profit of Rs 32.5 crore for the quarter ended December 2014, a growth 4.4 times compared to Rs 7.4 crore in the year-ago period. The growth in profit was largely led by higher other income and lower provisions while asset quality also improved significantly.

Net interest income, the difference between interest earned and interest expended, climbed 9.7 percent year-on-year to Rs 137.51 crore and other income (non-interest income) grew by whopping 59 percent to Rs 73.36 crore in the quarter gone by.

Provisions and contingencies declined 9.5 percent on yearly basis (up 20 percent sequentially) to Rs 61.2 crore during October-December 2014.

The bank has reported strong improvement in asset quality with the gross non-performing assets (NPA) falling 220 basis points year-on-year (down 32 bps quarter-on-quarter) to 3.40 percent in the third quarter of current financial year 2014-15.

12:30pm Interview

Forging and engineering player Bharat Forge has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to manufacture defence products, after Defence Minister promised quick 3-month clearances in defence projects.

Seeing a lot of potential in the defence sector, Amit Kalyani, Executive Director, Bharat Forge said the company is set to invest Rs 600 crore in Gujarat plant, as Gujarat goverment is focusing on defence manufacturing. Given that the plant will be funded via internal accruals, the investment will happen over a phased period, based on order, he added.

12:00pm Market Check

Equity benchmarks continued to trade choppy in a tight range. The Sensex fell 30.81 points to 27554.46, but the Nifty rose 15.35 points to 8338.35 buoyed by some stocks like Asian Paints, UltraTech Cements.

The broader markets outperformed frontline indices with the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices climbing half a percent each. The market breadth was also positive as about 1414 shares have advanced and 1072 shares declined on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Asian Paints surged nearly 4 percent and Jet Airways gained 5 percent on lower crude prices. Also news of Air India recording profit for the month of December also boded well for the aviation industry.

ONGC lost 2 percent and Cairn India declined 1 percent due to fear of lower realisations. Hindustan Unilever snapped six-day gains, down nearly 2 percent.

UltraTech Cement topped the buying list on Nifty, up 5 percent after media report suggested that the cement maker dropped out of race for Holcim-Lafarge assets. The company hasn’t participated in the final round of bidding, the report says.

Globally, Asian markets trimd losses after China trade data came in-line with estimates but the slump in oil prices weighed on sentiment. Brent continued to trade around 6-year lows, falling below USD 47 per barrel.

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