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Nifty above 8600, Sensex up over 100 pts; SBI gains 2%


The News International Team

9:55 am Poll: Power Grid Corporation of India is expected to report a 20.1 percent growth (year-on-year) in profit at Rs 1,251 crore for October-December quarter, according to a CNBC-TV18 poll.

Total income of the state-run electric utility company may increase 18.2 percent to Rs 4,353 crore in December quarter from Rs 3,685 crore in same quarter last fiscal.

Operating profit (EBITDA) may jump 21 percent year-on-year to Rs 3,759 crore and margin may expand 200 basis points to 86.3 percent in the quarter gone by.

Analysts are factoring in a positive surprise on the earnings, aided by aggressive capitalisation of Rs 9,600 crore in April-September period of FY15. Company may continue to deliver strong earnings on strong execution and strong commissioning of assets during the last one year.

9:45 am DLF fund raising:  Realty major DLF plans to raise over Rs 3,000 crore through divestment or joint ventures in certain projects and will form two Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) next fiscal as part of its strategy to improve cash flow and reduce debt.

In its analyst presentation, India’s largest realty firm DLF said it intends to keep the net debt of DevCo (development arm) range bound “through tactical divestments or JV’s with strategic or financial investors of certain projects”.

“Current value of deals in pipeline, at various stages of negotiations/due diligence/documentation exceeds Rs 3,000 crore,” it added.

9:30 am FII view:  The key to track in the upcoming Budget is the government’s commitment to the fiscal consolidation path, says brokerage house Morgan Stanley.

“While investors and media are eagerly awaiting the budget, we believe that the budget itself is unlikely to be a game changer. Our past experience in tracking the union budgets shows that it can at best be viewed as a platform for the government to set the broad objectives of its economic policy, and most of the details of the policy action actually take place outside of the budget,” said the Morgan Stanley note.

“We believe that the government will maintain the fiscal deficit reduction roadmap as per the medium-term fiscal policy and target to reduce the fiscal deficit to 3.6 percent of GDP in F2016 from an expected 4.1 percent of GDP in F2015,” the note said, adding that capex recovery, fiscal consolidation and reforms will be the critical factors.

Don’t miss: Greek PM easily wins confidence vote, EU showdown looms

The market has opened with some gains as the Nifty is above 8600-mark. The 50-share index is up 45.85 points at 8611.40. The Sensex is up 140.97 points at 28496.59. About 743 shares have advanced, 198 shares declined, and 127 shares are unchanged.

SBI is up 2 percent while Sun Pharma, Axis Bank, L&T and ICICI Bank are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are Bharti Airtel, Infosys, ONGC, GAIL and Cipla.

The Indian rupee opened lower by 8 paise at 62.26 per dollar against previous day’s closing value of 62.18 a dollar. The dollar hovered at one-month highs versus the yen, bolstered by gains in treasury yields, while uncertainty over a new debt deal for Greece kept a cloud over the euro.

Himanshu Arora of Religare said, “USD-INR pair is expected to trade higher today as dollar traded strong against a basket of currencies on Greek concerns and escalating violence in Ukraine.”

Stocks in the US closed up about 1 percent as investors shook off early negative news out of Greece on hopes of a resolution. The major indices were in the green for the year, with the Nasdaq leading gains with a 1.09 percent year-to-date gain.

In Europe, the FTSE closed down with falling oil prices weighing on the basic resources and energy-dominated index. CAC and DAX closed higher following rumors of a compromise deal on Greek debt.  The Greek market closed higher by 8%.

There is speculation that the European Commission could be ready to table a compromise on Greece’s bailout programme and propose a six-month extension to the country’s bailout which is due to end on February 28.

Investors will be keenly watching for a possible Greek debt deal when the euro group of finance ministers meets in Brussels today where Greece’s finance minister is expected to detail new reform proposals.

From the commodities space, crude prices slipped after the international energy agency warned that oil prices may decline as stocks continue to increase this year. Brent crude slips to 56 dollars per barrel. And the precious metals gold slipped marginally following a rise in dollar.


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