Ratings downgrade seem to have become commonplace for the Indian economy, as the key indices in Indian share markets hardly reacted to another downgrade by ratings agency Fitch. Led by gains in cement, telecom and energy stocks, the Indian indices were, in fact, amongst the top gainers in Asia today. The indices surged higher in the final hour of trade and ultimately closed near the day's high. While the BSE-Sensex closed higher by around 154 points (up 0.9%), the NSE-Nifty closed higher by around 40 points (up 0.8%). The smaller indices had a relatively muted session on the bourses. The BSE Mid Cap index closed 0.2% higher while the BSE Small Cap ended flat. Most sectoral indices except BSE Infotech closed the day in the positive.
As regards global markets, Asian indices closed mixed today while European indices have opened firm. The rupee was trading at Rs 55.97 to the dollar at the time of writing.
After a failed attempt to raised funds by divesting stake in PSUs in 2011, the government is mulling stake sale in as many as 15 public sector companies for disinvestment. This includes the likes of Bharath Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), Hindustan Copper, Steel athority of india limitted (SAIL), Natinal Mineral Development Corporation Limited (NMDC), National Hydel Power Corporation (NHPC), MOIL and Engineers India. This is in an effort to raise Rs 200 bn. As per the finance ministry's plan, 10% stake sale is being considered in companies like NALCO, NHPC, NMDC, MOIL and Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL). Meanwhile a stake sale in NMDC is expected to earn an estimated Rs 60 bn.
Ashok Leyland, has bagged another order from Bangladesh Road Transportation Corporation (BRTC) for 88 AC buses for a value worth $6.5 million under the Indian Line of Credit (LoC) scheme offered for the improvement of Urban transportation in that country. This order comes close on the heels of the recent order to supply 50 Vestibule buses to BRTC. This order will add to the 11,000 plus vehicles (of different models) that have been exported to Bangladesh. The order also firms up the growth of the company's international operations, volumes for which touched a new peak last year of 12,852 vehicles, reflecting a growth of 25% YoY.
Recently, Ashok Leyland bagged order worth US$ 7.6 m for 100 Falcon Buses. The company supplied these 100 buses to Ghana, which were inducted in the fleet of Metro Mass Transit, a transport company, in which the Government of Ghana has 45% stake, for both inter and intra-city applications on 360 routes throughout that country.