India Markets Tuesday Wrap-Up: Mid, Small Caps Steal Show

by: Equitymaster

Indices for the Indian stock market held on to their gains during the closing stages of the day and managed to end their sessions marginally in the positive. BSE-Sensex edged higher by around 76 points while the NSE-Nifty logged in gains of around 24 points. BSE Midcap and BSE Small-Cap indices fared better than their larger counterparts and closed the day with gains of 0.8% and 0.7% each. On the Sensex, three stocks gained for every two that ended the session in the red.

Asian indices closed mixed today while Europe was trading mostly in the green. The rupee was trading at Rs 45 to the dollar at the time of writing.

GAIL (OTC:GAILF), India's largest gas transmission and distribution company, announced that it has received the board's approval for a foray into natural gas-based power generation. The company will set up its first power plant at Uran in Maharashtra and will invest Rs 8 bn. The plant will have a total capacity of around 250 MW. It is also planning to set up power projects of similar capacity in other states like Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat. Put together, these four plants would require 2.5 m standard cubic meters of gas a day. Since domestic gas supply is limited, gas may well have to be imported by the company. The company is discussing with PTC India to facilitate power trading and is in the process of signing a power purchase agreement with the state power department. The stock closed higher by 1% on the bourses today.

Maruti Suzuki, India's largest passenger vehicle manufacturer, also closed higher by 1%. This was despite a workers' strike at its Manesar plant entering its fourth day. It should be noted that the company had yesterday sacked 11 employees at the plant for allegedly inciting others to strike. Around 2,000 workers of the company have been on strike since Saturday, resulting in a loss of production of around 1,800 units as of yesterday. In value terms, the loss is estimated to be around Rs 1 bn. As per reports, the management of the company is looking at a long-term solution for such issues and is looking at working on a unit-wise holding union model. Practiced internationally in many countries, it consists of having individual holding unions at every plant to look into their own factory related problems.