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Sensex ends down, Nifty below 8300; HUL soars 5%, ITC falls

14:00

The News International Team

03:30 pm Market close

After a wild swing, the market ended lower. The Sensex ended down 78.91 points at 27346.82 and the Nifty slipped 21.85 points at 8277.55. About 1262 shares have advanced, 1602 shares declined, and 342 shares were unchanged.

HUL was up 5 percent while, BHEL, Infosys, Bajaj Auto and Maruti were top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers were Sesa Sterlite, Hindalco, Tata Steel and ITC.

03:10 pm Infosys Sikka’s fund for India

Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka today met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and disclosed that his company will spend USD 250 million (over Rs 1,500 crore) to fund innovations in software and services in India. The chief of India’s second largest IT services firm also discussed with Modi ways in which the company can participate in the Prime Minister’s vision of smart and digitally empowered India. Infosys will develop software for managing the kumbh mela scheduled in Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh) in 2016, he told PTI in an interview.

Sikka, the first non-founder CEO of Infosys, said Modi has agreed to dedicate the company’s Mysore campus as the first model smart city in the country in April this year. “Today, I had a meeting with the Prime Minister. We had a talk on smart cities, smart infrastructure, which is close to his heart. And the other big area is innovation. PM has a vision for innovation. As announced last week, we have a USD 500 million Innovation Fund,” he said.

02:50pm Market Update

The market slipped again in late trade. The Sensex lost 158.86 points to 27266.87 and the Nifty fell 45.75 points to 8253.65. Metals extended losses; Sesa Sterlite tanked 7.5 percent and Hindalco Industries plunged 7 percent. Tata Steel shed nearly 4 percent and ITC lost 3.5 percent.

About 1143 shares have advanced, 1649 shares declined, and 325 shares are unchanged on the BSE.

02:30pm Tata Teleservices in focus

The Reserve Bank of India has allowed conglomerate Tata Sons Ltd to buy Japanese telecom firm NTT DoCoMo Inc’s stake in their struggling Indian venture, paving the way for the completion of the long-delayed USD 1.1 billion deal.

In a memo to the finance ministry dated December 22 seen by Reuters, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said it was “inclined to accept” the proposal from Tata to buy DoCoMo’s stake of around 26 percent in Tata Teleservices Ltd at half the price DoCoMo originally paid for the investment. The RBI has requested for the finance ministry’s view.

The RBI approval, also confirmed by a source directly involved in the process, is part of the government’s bid to simplify and scrap some of the more obscure rules that have curbed foreign investment.

A rule change brought in last year prevented foreign investors from selling stakes in Indian firms at a pre-determined price.

“The larger issue here is of a fair commitment in the contracts in relation to an investment and a downside protection of an investment, rather than assured return,” the central bank said in the memo.

“Besides, our strategic relationship with Japan in recent times in relation to FDI (foreign direct investment) flows is also a matter to be kept in view,” it said.

DoCoMo said in July last year that it would sell its stake in Tata Teleservices. The seventh-biggest mobile phone carrier in India has been losing money in a hugely crowded market for years.

02:00pm Market Check

Equity benchmarks recouped losses. The Sensex fell 34.83 points to 27390.90 and the Nifty declined 18.95 points to 8280.45. About 1165 shares have advanced, 1542 shares declined, and 348 shares are unchanged on the BSE.

Shares of Infosys, HUL, ONGC and BHEL topped the buying list on Sensex, up 1-3 percent. Bajaj Auto gained 1.5 percent ahead of third quarter earnings, which is scheduled to be announced on Thursday. The two-wheeler maker’s third quarter profit is expected to fall 6 percent Y-o-Y to Rs 850 crore for the quarter ended December 2014, according to CNBC-TV18 poll. Profit in the year-ago quarter was Rs 904 crore.

However, Hindalco Industries and Sesa Sterlite tanked 6 percent each followed by Tata Steel and ITC with 3 percent loss. Reliance Industries, ICICI Bank, Sun Pharma and Wipro fell over 1 percent.

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