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Sensex, Nifty open strong on Mar series; eyes on Eco survey


The News International Team

9:50 am DLF falls: In the biggest-ever penalty in a single case, SEBI Thursday slapped fines totalling Rs 86 crore on realty giant DLF, its top executives, their family members and various other related entities for entering into “sham transactions” to mislead IPO investors about eight years ago.

Those penalised include Chairman KP Singh, his son and Vice Chairman Rajiv Singh, daughter Pia Singh, as also three “housewives” married to ‘key management personnel’ of the DLF group for “fraudulent and unfair trade practices”.

DLF later said in a statement it did not violate any laws and it would challenge the order. DLF also said it was guided by the advice of “eminent legal advisors, merchant bankers and audit firms” while formulating its IPO documents.

In the same case, SEBI in October last year barred DLF and its six top executives, including Singh and his two children, from markets for three years for suppressing key information at the time of its IPO in 2007, including about certain “sham transactions” involving an associate firm, Sudipti Estates.

9:40 am Gold import: With a decline in Gold imports, Commerce Ministry has sought reduction in import duty on gold, a step that could boost exports and manufacturing of gems and jewellery.

“We have been asking for a cut in gold import duty,” Commerce Secretary Rajeev Kher told reporters on the sidelines of a CII function. In its Budget proposals, the Ministry has suggested the Finance Minister to consider reduction in import duty on the yellow metal. The industry has sought reduction in customs duty on gold to two percent, from 10 percent now. The gems and jewellery sector, which employs about 35 lakh people, would get a boost from the move. Gold imports in December declined sharply to 39 tonnes, from 152 tonnes in November.

9:30 am Big deal: In order to give a push to government’s defence programme, the ministry has awarded battlefield management system (BMS) development contracts to two consortiums. According to sources, one comprises of Tata Power SED and L&T Defence and the other consortium includes BEL and Rolta . The government will fund 80 percent of the prototype cost and partners will be expected to fork out the remaining 20 percent.

The two consortiums are required to develop the prototype in 18-24 months. MV Kotwal of L&T said share of Tata Power and L&T is same in the consortium. He also added that the final order win will be between one of the two consortiums.

Don’t miss: Rail Budget impact: 15 stocks to profit on Prabhu’s plans

The market has opened March series on a positive note. The Nifty is up 45.65 points at 8729.50. The Sensex is up 202.12 points or 0.7 percent at 28948.77. About 375 shares have advanced, 120 shares declined, and 110 shares are unchanged.

Tata Power, L&T, Tata Motors, Sesa Sterlite and SBI are top gainers whle NTPC, ITC and TCS are among the losers in the Sensex.

The Indian rupee opened lower by 11 paise at 61.86 per dollar on Friday against previous day’s closing value of 61.75 a dollar.

The dollar rises to a one-month high against a basket of currencies as US inflation and business orders supported bets the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in the middle of the year.

Pramit Brahmbhatt of Veracity said, “Reduced FII inflows coupled with profit booking in local equities may put pressure on the rupee to depreciate today. However, gains in Asian equities and some exporter selling may limit losses. The rupee is likely to trade today in a range of 61.30-62.20/dollar.”

Globally, US stocks closed narrowly mixed, with stocks near recent highs, as lackluster economic data and oil concerns weighed on investor sentiment. Asian markets are mixed in morning trade as the Japanese index continues its march higher. For the month the Nikkei is up 6.5 percent and today it is holding with mild gains.

European equities gained as investors reacted to a raft of corporate earnings and fresh economic data. Nymex Crude slipped over 5 percent yesterday to USD 48 and Brent too slipped marginally to USD 61. And precious metal gold rose to USD 1210 an ounce.


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