Target of 6,000
Sinha pleads for
Singapore state investment agency Temasek said on Friday it would buy a stake in Matrix in a $ 67 million deal that reflects its two new focus areas - India and pharmaceuticals.
Spice Telecom has announced to offer ISD calls at a discounted rate of just Rs 3.99 per minute, the lowest ever to any country in the world. These rates will be applicable from January 9, coinciding with the Pravasi Bharati Divas, till Baisakhi.
Woollen shawl for
50,000, any buyer
Maruti sales rev up 23 pc
Target of 6,000 hit
Mumbai, January 2
The benchmark index will now try to crack its all-time high of 6,150.69 points (touched briefly in intra-day trades on February 14, 2000), in early next week, brokers said.
The market opened on a bullish note, continued to march ahead with the expectations of impressive corporate results which would start trickling in the coming weeks, and with higher allocation of the foreign funds’ investments in the domestic markets in the New Year on account of the strong economic fundamentals, Mr Sumeet Lala, an analyst with Asit C. Mehta Intermediaries said.
The strong kick-off in the Asian markets today, after the New Year holidays, provided an additional inspiration to the zooming domestic market, he added.
The 30-stock Sensex which opened 19 points higher at 5,944.23 points, which itself was the day’s low, crossed the 6,000 barrier in early afternoon to touch an intra-day high of 6,034.38 points.
The Sensex finished at 6,026.59 points, an all-time closing high after it broke the earlier closing record of 5,933 points of February 11,2000, and gaining a whopping 111.12.12 points or 1.88 per cent from its previous close of 5,915.47 points.
The Sensex had hit an intra day record high of 6,150.69 points on February 14, 2000, but came-off later to finish that day at 5,924.31 points.
The CNX Nifty of the NSE jumped up by 1.77 per cent to end at a record high of 1,946.05 points.
Public sector stocks raced ahead, pushing up the BSE-PSU index by 235.56 points of 5.94 per cent in the broad-based market rally while banking, media, software, consumer durables, FMCGs, metals, cement and auto shares also posted smart gains.
ONGC shares were very much in demand right through today following the government’s stepping up its initiative to divest the 10 per cent stake in the company, while BHEL scaled a lifetime high of Rs 356.10, gaining 3.90 per cent from its previous close.
ACC hit its four-year high of Rs 266 today following sustained accumulation from foreign institutional investors. Hindalco spurted 5.68 per cent to record high of Rs1,480.
Most fertiliser stocks, including RCF, GSFC and Zuari Industries, also posted smart gains on expectations over the coming results.
The top gainers were the ONGC which shot up by 11.97 per cent to Rs 919.05, Hindalco 5.68 per cent up at Rs 1,480.45, Zee 5.49 per cent up at Rs 159.40, Grasim 4.38 per cent up at Rs 1,056.35, MTNL 4.23 per cent up at Rs 148.95, BHEL 3.90 per cent up at Rs 536.10 and Cipla 3.55 per cent up at Rs 1,398.70.
The only three losers in the 30-stock Sensex were Bharti Tele which slipped by 1.62 per cent at Rs 109.20, Bajaj Auto 1.18 per cent down at Rs 1,122.25 and HDFC Bank 0.83 per cent down at Rs 363.20.
Mumbai, January 2
The Indian unit resumed trading on more or less steady note at Rs 45.5950/6000 per dollar as against yesterday’s close of Rs 45.5950/6050 per dollar, but later corporates indulged in heavy buying of dollar at prevailing low rates which pushed the rupee sharply down to end at Rs 45.69/70 per dollar, showing a steep fall of 9.50 paise against the previous close.
Despite steady foreign fund inflow giving the rupee underlying support, a fresh round of heavy dollar buying by banks to meet their shortfall caused the rupee to fall sharply, dealers said.
Sinha pleads for economic integration
Islamabad, January 2
He said if Pakistan can find within self the strength and wisdom to change its current approach towards India, there are immense benefits that it can derive as a transit route to booming markets in Central Asia, West Asia and the Gulf.
Addressing the SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Regional Cooperation, Mr Sinha pointed out that South is expected to have an economic growth of 5.8 per cent for 2003 and over 6 per cent for 2004. “Clearly the above has been achieved in an atmosphere of mistrust and tensions in South Asia. Just imagine how much more can be achieved through trust and confidence building,” the external affairs minister observed.
Giving statistics about the rate of growth in India, Mr Sinha maintained that this is not a flash in the pan. “It is sustainable growth that we have achieved as a result of painstaking economic reforms implemented over the last decade and more.”
He said the central message that India brings to the SAARC summit is that “we must set aside all our suspicions of each other wherever they exist and switch on the engine of South Asian growth to travel on the road to prosperity. This task brooks no delay.”
Mr Sinha insisted that in the globalised world of today, collective regional endeavour is an expression of enlightened self interest for any country.
“We should accept the realities of the world order and identify the objectives of cooperative economic security, as many regional groupings are doing. This will require that we do nothing to undermine each other’s security. Our goal of economic security for the region can be achieved only if we exchange information, investment, technology, know how and business opportunities and, thereby, reinforce our developmental agenda.”
Singapore, January 2
Temasek Holdings said it would take up to a 14 per cent equity stake in Matrix Laboratories Ltd, one of the best performing drug makers on the Indian stock market last year, in a preferential share allotment.
Matrix, a developer of generic drugs, will issue 2.25 million shares at Rs 1,500 ($32.87) each to Temasek and U.S. investment fund New Bridge Capital.
Its existing shareholders will also divest 1.8 million shares in a secondary sale, Matrix said.
Both Temasek and New Bridge will participate equally in the issues, Matrix said. The investment by the firms works out to about $67 million each.
“We have said we believe in the potential of Asia as a whole. Definitely we are also interested in life sciences,” said Temasek spokeswoman Eva Ho. “We are always open to interesting opportunities, not just in India.”
Last month Temasek bought 5.2 per cent of ICICI Bank Ltd through open-market purchases. Earlier last year Temasek joined hands with Standard Chartered Private Equity to set up a $100 million, 50-50 India-focused private equity fund.
It paid $90 million in September for a 16.4 per cent stake in U.S.-based Quintiles Transnational Corp, a provider of testing services to drugmakers.
Matrix, based in Secunderabad in Andhra Pradesh, makes active pharmaceutical ingredients and drug intermediates. It has three manufacturing units in Hyderabad in southern India and employs around 100 scientists.
Ho said the deal required approvals from Indian authorities and Matrix shareholders.
Matrix shares were up 2 per cent at Rs 1,629.80 on Friday morning in thin trade of 8,562 shares with no sellers. The stock surged 714 per cent last year, compared to the 73 per cent gain in the benchmark Bombay index.
Spice slashes ISD, roaming rates
Chandigarh, January 2
The announcement of the new ISD rates was made here today by Mr Navin Kaul, who has been appointed as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Spice Communications in Punjab.
With this new offer, making ISD calls from a Spice mobile is now cheaper by 75 per cent as compared to the prevailing rates.
Spice also announced the new roaming rates on post-paid plans. Now while roaming in any state in India, a Spice customer will have to pay only Rs. 1.99/minute for receiving and making local calls.
The roaming rental has been revised to zero if the customer roams in any of the Mobilefirst partner networks. In case the subscriber roams on any other network, the rental applicable is Rs 25 per roaming month. These rates will also be applicable from January 9.
He said Spice had already expanded its subscriber base to 8 lakh users in Punjab, adding nearly 60,000 subscribers in December alone. Mr Kaul said he was confident of meeting the target of doubling the subscriber base every year.
Shimla, January 2
Made of Angora wool in Kinnauri design in cashmelon was woven by the late nephew of Vijay Sharma of Kulu, who was an expert in weaving Kinauri design on khadi. It took full one year by the late nephew of Vijay Sharma to complete this colourful shawl 32 years ago. Mr Vijay Sharma told PTI that traditional Kinnauri colourful design is the main attraction and its cost is perhaps the only reason that no customers is coming forward to purchase it.
He said it was woven when a weaver used to get Rs 100 a day and in the present day this shawl would cost even more than Rs 70,000. Vijay Sharma said this colourful Kinnauri design could also be woven in Pashmina shawl which would cost even more than Rs 1 lakh.
Maruti sales rev up 23 pc
New Delhi, January 2
Sales during April-December, 2003, surged 30.3 per cent to 3,28,019 units against 2,51,797 units sold a year ago, a company statement said.
During December, the company’s domestic vehicle sales went up 22.3 per cent to 33,343 units while exports jumped 31.7 per cent to 3,748 units.
Domestic sale of Maruti’s bread-and-butter model M800 rose by 12.1 per cent in December to 13,641 units and during April-December, 2003, it increased by 28.4 per cent to 1,23,202 units.
Sales of the Omni van and multi-purpose-vehicle Versa increased by 18.4 per cent to 4,323 units. During the first nine months this fiscal, sales in this segment rose by 16 per cent to 42,672 units.
In the competitive premium small car or B segment, the Alto, Wagon-R and Zen clocked a 34.6 per cent rise at 13,918 units during the review month and 30.8 per cent rise in April-December, 2003, to 1,15,011 units.
Sale of the mid-size cars Esteem and Baleno also grew by 42.4 per cent to 1,333 units. Their sales stood higher by 23 per cent during April-December, 2003, at 9,977 units.
However, utility-vehicles Gypsy and Vitara suffered a 23 per cent decline in December to 128 units. During April- December, their sales stood at 13.3 per cent more at 2,117 units. — PTI
Hero Honda Motors said yesterday sales jumped 11 per cent in the calendar year, 2003, to 18,73,632 units against 16,80,544 units sold in 2002. The bike maker said the year saw sales crossing a record 2 lakh units in the months of October and November.
For the October-December, 2003, quarter, Hero Honda registered an impressive sales increase of 27 per cent over the corresponding period last year (5,72,196 bikes this quarter as compared to 4,52,047 units were same quarter last year).
For December, the company registered an increase of 28 per cent by selling 1,60,191 motorcycles while cumulative sales in April-December ’03 grew 15 per cent from 12,61,344 units to 14,77,439 units,” it said. — UNI
Hyundai Motor India said today its car sales surged by 83 per cent in December, 2003, to 12,382 units, driven by rising demand for Santro and mid-size model Accent.
Domestic sales grew 23.5 per cent to 6,241 units while exports climbed over three-fold to 6,141 units during the month, a company statement said.
Sales during the calendar year 2003 grew 35.7 per cent to 1,50,741 units.
It included 1,18,676 units of ‘Santro’, 30,613 units of ‘Accent’, 1,264 units of luxury sedan ‘Sonata’, and 188 units of sports-utility-vehicle ‘Terracan’.
Inflation at 29-week high
Pay via SMS
Vijaya Bank plan