Concerns over the country's infrastructural bottlenecks and its impact on corporate profitability took a toll on Indian markets today. Hence, even though the sentiment was positive across Asia and most of Europe, the benchmark indices in Indian stock market featured as the sole loser in Asia in today's trade. Sectoral indices across the board mainly ended lower with oil and gas and capital goods sectors leading the pack of losers. However stocks from the auto and onsumer durables space ended the day on a positive note. While the BSE-Sensex ended lower by around 58 points, losses on the NSE-Nifty came in at 14 points. The BSE Mid Cap index closed flat while the BSE Small Cap index closed higher.
Other major Asian indices closed positive whereas Europe is trading mostly in the green currently. The rupee was trading at Rs 48.79 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Leading IT trainer NIIT Limited announced that it sold its U.S.-based subsidiary, Element K Corporation, to SkillSoft Corporation for US$ 110 m in an all-cash deal. The company had earlier acquired Element K for US$ 35 m in 2006. The subsidiary has over 700 employees. NIIT has also entered into long-term services and licencing agreements with SkillSoft for producing new content for its e-learning content for business, IT and desktop skills. The funds from sale would be used to strengthen NIIT's four platforms namely, managed training services, cloud campus, its private school venture (NGuru) and university programme (YuvaJyoti). With investors positive about this new development, the stock closed higher by over 14%.
Mortgage financier HDFC Limited (NYSE:HDB) announced its results for the second quarter (2QFY12) and the first half (1HFY12) of the financial year 2011-12. It reported a 40% increase in its interest income, for the quarter, while the same grew by 38% for the first half. But despite a robust showing on the interest income front, profits grew by a relatively muted 20% for the first quarter and 21% for the half year period. This was on account of higher interest expenses, which grew at a quicker pace versus interest income. The same was due to several rate hikes which the central bank effected over the past year. Loan growth however came in at 19% YoY, despite the high interest rate environment. The management continues to believe that the rate hikes will not have an adverse impact on its loan growth target (20 to 25%) or on asset quality, which has been seeing improvements. The stock closed around 1% higher.